A Love Affair with Envelope Liners

So, I don’t think that this is news to anyone but…I am obsessed with envelope liners(see here, here).  This weekend the obsession was back in full force.  We are just about finished getting our updated save the dates ready to mail out and I wasn’t planning on doing envelope liners, but I just couldn’t help myself.  I love the way it looks! When we were out and about this weekend picking up our envelopes at PaperSource we overheard a newly engaged bride-to-be inquiring about the how-to on envelope liners and I knew I wasn’t alone in my obsession.  I love how the new Save the Dates came out and a lot of that had to do with the envelope liners.  I will reveal them soon!  I have a feeling you’re going to love them too…

There are really a million options when it comes to envelope liners.  You can choose a beautiful specialty paper, you could create your own and print them out on your home computer, you can use rubber stamps to create something unique, or my personal, budget-friendly option wrapping paper!

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DIY or Buy?

Flowers…can you DIY them? Sure you definitely can! But, should you…umm I think not.  I am always trying to do something a little different in my everyday life.  If that means try a new hat, a new lipstick, whatever…so I was hell bent on doing something different with almost every aspect of my wedding.  Not excluding my flowers! I had soooo many ideas.  First it was paper flowers.  Granted, I think they turned out beautifully:

Paper Flowers

The rose on the left was rather simple I just followed this incredibly easy template by the elli blog. So, I got cocky and decided to try the ranunculus template… 4 hours later I got what sort of resembled a ranunculus bloom, the flower on the right.  While it was an interesting project and I was pretty impressed with the results, I don’t have the time for that.  Plus, the more I thought about it flowers were not something I wanted to eliminate.  Nothing can compare to the natural beauty, the fragrance, or the countless hours of my life that I would never get back if I made all of my flowers, LOL! So I say flowers are a definite BUY in my book.

Advance with Caution: Petits Fours

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming! It feels good to be back! Today we are dishing on the new trend in tiny desserts, petit fours. When my Mom mentioned that she would like to have a tea party themed Bridal Shower I was on board.  Maybe a bit too on-board, lol! I got really excited! Of course I had a million ideas and some of them I was so passionate about my Mom didn’t want to say anything.  But, in all honesty I was too much, which tends to happen on occasion.  However, one of the things that my Mom really wanted to do that I had no influence over was to make petit fours for the Bridal Shower.  I, of course, loved the idea!

What I thought was really special about the idea to make the petit fours, was my Mom’s inspiration.  The tried and true Betty Crocker cookbook, adored by both my mother and I.  I love that cookbook.  I made my first dish based off of a recipe from that cookbook, a delicious French omelet.  I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was probably close to 10 years old and I felt so self-sufficient and grown up, not to mention sophisticated because it was not just an ordinary omelet…it was a French omelet.   Haha, but anyway the point I am trying to make is that the cookbook has quite a bit of sentimental value!

Betty Crocker

So with the Betty Crocker Cookbook and determination we set out to make some beautifully, delicious petits fours…or so we thought.  Without going into too much detail…in short they were a mess.  So, we will be attempting to make them again around Valentine’s Day.  Until then I thought I would do some “research.”  This week I was in Annapolis for a work conference so I thought I would slip into Sweet Hearts Patisserie to see if I could detect any secrets from taste testing a few of their beautiful petits fours.  I mean just look at them…

Petits Fours

They were not only beautiful but, also very delicious.  I would have to say the Red Velvet was by far my favorite by they have lots of delectable flavors to choose from.  The biggest “secret” that I took away from my “research” was they fact that they use chocolate to cover the little mini cakes as opposed to the royal icing that we had set out to use.  So, stay tuned to see how our attempt at round 2, petits fours goes around Valentine’s Day.

Thank You & A New Wedding Date


Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers.  Our venue finally got back with us and we have been able to just push the wedding back a few months.  What are a few months when we will have the rest of our lives together? Right!?

We have been so strong for each other through this.  The experience has given both of us more confidence in who we will be as a married couple: a great team! They say everything happens for a reason and I think this has shown us that.

Onto a brighter note, now I have a few more months to fit in some fun DIY projects that I was going to scrap because we were running out of time! We started them right away, together!  It was both personally therapeutic and at the same time great for our relationship.  I can’t wait to share them with you.  Until then the new countdown begins.  09.13.14 will be here before we know it!

DIY or Buy?

The wedding dress…I NEVER, NEVER…EVER thought I would be DIYing my wedding dress.  But, after going to several bridal boutiques and just not finding the right dress…I finally said yes to my Mom’s dress albeit with a bit of a DIY element.  Obviously I am not going to be able to go at this project alone so, I have enlisted the help of a professional.  However, I still consider this a DIY project because believe it or not if you are going to be embarking on this journey you are INVOLVED! Much more involved than I originally anticipated, but I have been loving every second of it!

The design has been a work in progress…and I feel like every time I meet with our dressmaker it gets better.  This past Saturday my Mom and I went for another fitting and it is just coming along beautifully.  I am so excited! I can already tell this is going to be one of my most adored elements of our BIG day!

So, in my experience this was a definite DIY.  I think it goes without saying that it is a very personal choice.  However, I will say it’s important to make sure you are open to options that you may not have thought were for you…because they may be better than you could have ever imagined.

Here’s a little sneak peek of the dress…


DIY or Buy?

Hello there! It’s been a while.  The holidays were just absoultely lovely.  The Mr. and I spent some quality time with his family up in Vermont this Christmas.  It was filled with love, laughs, a Christmas day hike, board games, and so much more.

While, it’s tough to come back to reality after the holidays I am excited to be back to share with you some escort card inspiration.  Escort cards can be a bit boring…and they are really the first impression of your wedding reception.  So I advise you to not let the first impression be boring.  You could buy some folded cards & then have a calligrapher do the rest.  It’s classic.  But, I recommend to add a little more personality with a quick DIY.  There are so many different ways to spruce up this element of your wedding so, don’t bow out…get creative!

I love our escort “cards,” well they aren’t really cards but, anyway I love them! They have a bit of whimsy, the display fits in with our art deco theme, and they were made by yours truly. I can’t wait to share them with you, but until then here are some other great ideas to get your wheels turning:


Beverage Escort Cards


Pancake Escort Cards


Pick Your Posies Escort Cards 

DIY or Buy?

Wedding invitations…there are so many gorgeous wedding invitation suites out there! OMG! That was actually the first thing the Mr. and I looked at, lol! We went to the most beautiful paper boutique in Portsmouth, NH just days after our engagement.  I was so excited! Just a little fair warning it only takes you about umm 5 minutes to fall in love with everything! If you are ever in that area you have to stop by Gus & Ruby, not only do they have beautiful paper goods but, they also have great gifts! But, for us buying the type of custom wedding invitation suite that I soo wanted was just not in the budget. So, I got to work! I was going to get the custom suite I wanted by DIYing my heart out.  One thing that I would definitely recommend if you plan on DIYing your wedding invites is to wait until after you have your wedding venue selected and your general design plan for the wedding: decor, cake, dress.  So you know what type of look would suit everything. I started out just researching design elements that fit with our look that I could incorporate easily.  Our venue as I have mentioned before reminds me so much of Jay Gatsby’s house straight off of the 1974 set of the film (swoon Robert Redford). So, some of our design inspiration has come from the Jazz Age.  However, at the same time I wanted to keep them modern with a bit whimsy.  Here are some of the elements that inspired me:

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The design process was actually a lot of fun for me.  I would print out the updates as I incorporated different elements to show the Mr. and he would give me some input.  It was really a great team project.  Then we got them printed using our handy, dandy Groupon saving tons of money.  All that is left is assembling them, postage, and calligraphy. We were actually snowed in yesterday so, we got a good dent into the assembly process.  It was such a great sense of accomplishment seeing how it all came together.  I couldn’t be happier! Plus, I am so grateful that we didn’t have it in our budget for the fancy letterpress suite.  We would have missed out on collaborating on such an amazing project together.  We were snowed in with the fireplace on in our PJs putting them together.  It was a great day!

DIY or Buy?

I am loving all things chalkboard for our wedding decor…but it was tough to incorporate with our Art Deco vibe at first.  Until I saw a great DIY on pinterest of course.  To up the glam factor the “chalkboards” are made out of silver platters…just the right amount of sparkle for me.  So, get yourself to the good will store there are plenty of them there.  They range in price from like 50 cents to like $5, depending on size.  Then all you need is some chalkboard paint and chalk it’s super easy & a definite DIY in my book.  Here is what inspired me to DIY:

I have begun to make these for our BIG day but, I couldn’t wait to put these beauties to good use.  Check out my Hot Chocolate Bar sign from this weekend:


DIY or Buy?

I am a big proponent of supporting small, local businesses.  So, throughout the wedding planning process if it was economical I would opt to spend my money with them instead of some big box company.  This DIY is a little bit of both.  We were able to DIY our black raspberry jelly wedding favors, which I have talked about already here and here.  Since we opted to DIY we were able to support a local farm and buy all of our beautiful black raspberries for a fraction of the cost because we picked them ourselves. Plus, the fact that my grandmother passed down the tradition of making this jelly to my mother makes it that much more special.  So, I say wedding favors are a DIY must.  Find something really personal with family ties and share it with all your guests, trust they will love it! Plus, the process of putting these together with my Mom, my soon to be Mom, and my MOH was just so much fun!

Here are some more DIY favor options that are my favs:


Spice Mix Favor


Cookie Mix Favor



Groupon Can Save Your Wedding Budget

Ok so I know it sounds crazy, Grouponing your way through wedding planning. However, Groupon has been a huge moneysaver for us.  DIYing all of our wedding stationary has been a huge help, but we wouldn’t have been able to have them printed at such a huge discount without the help of our new friend Groupon, look at the savings


Source: Association of Bridal Consultants

Obviously we were thrilled! So, now that I have learned what a difference a Groupon can make I have been on the look out for anything that could help me trim off some of the fat of our wedding budget.  Just this week I was able to get a beautiful Aiden Mattox dress for our rehearsal dinner from Saks for 80% off, saving over $100 thanks to Groupon.  Check out the Groupon deals available now in the Baltimore area & see if Groupon can save your wedding budget too.

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Inspiring People

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After my 105 pound weight loss, I started this blog to inspire and motivate others to live a healthy lifestyle!


DIY Wedding Invitations For Your Perfect Day

The Sparkly Blog


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"She lets her imagination run away with her"