It’s Been a Year…Already

I have decided to take a little holiday “break” from the blog this week & next, but I couldn’t let today’s special occasion pass through my finger tips.  Today is the Mr. & I’s 1 Year Anniversary of our engagement…wow! Time has really flown by! Some snapshots of the year :)

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A Modern Gray & Yellow {Engagement Party}

John and I had a blast planning and partying. We joined forces and DIYed just about everything with the help of friends and family. The inspiration started with, “He Popped the Question.” So we set up a popcorn bar with my personal favorite Parmesan truffle, my Mom’s famous Caramel Nut, and Peppermint White Chocolate flavors. Then our beverage of choice was a delicious concoction of light beer, vodka, and lemonade aptly named “Sunshine Lemonade.” John has sweetly been calling me “Sunshine” for years, even before we began dating it was my nickname. He says its because of my ever-present smile and optimism. Hopefully, he still feels that same way after he experiences all that is entailed with wedding planning.

We asked our favorite restaurant around the corner, Artful Gourmet, to cater the fete. As, it is our Friday night tradition to stop in for martinis and crab wontons. The crab wontons were of course on the party menu as well as a great selection of paninis, John’s favorite Nouveau salad, and some delicious pasta salad. Our favor for the party were the super fun stick figure proposal cookies that I made. A yummy family recipe for butter cookies topped with royal icing and marshmallow fondant, stamped with our names and the cute stick figure proposal design.

We had so much fun celebrating with all of our close friends and our parents it was a beautiful day surrounded by all of the people that we love so much.

Catering: Artful Gourmet 

Photographer: John Smith of Smith 3 Designs 

Party Design: 

Custom Designed by us, Popcorn Bag Labels, Popcorn sign, Sunshine Lemonade sign, Menu sign, Cookie Favor sign, Cookie Favors

Tissue Paper Pom Poms, Honeycomb Tissue Balls, Paper Lanterns, PartyCity

Sparkle & Shine Tissue Tassel Garland, EverlyLaneDesign

Popcorn Chevron Bags, Straw Flags, CherishedBlessings

Polka-Dot Cocktail Napkins, Paper Straws, BHLDN

Wedding Hair Trial #1

The fun begins.  Hair Trail #1 happened this weekend among other various wedding related fun! But, more to come on that soon…

The Inspiration:

vintage wedding hair

The Results:

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

The Details:

Salon: FX Studios Hunt Valley, MD

Stylist: Kristin Lemmer

Guest: MOH, Katrina

Katrina got an early start as my Maid of Honor, haha!  Lucky her :) As most of you may know our Wedding Date is still TBD, but will probably be Spring/Early Summer of 2014.  But, what a fun way to start out at MOH! Hair Trial #1!

I know most brides hold off on the hair trials but, I am a super planner and also have no idea how I want to get my hair styled for the big day.  Hence, starting with the hair trials now! There is really only one thing I do know and that is I wanted some vintage inspiration to be sprinkled around our attire, decor, entertainment, etc.  So, I thought I would begin the hair trials with a vintage inspired do.  I loved how it turned out and lucky for me, my stylist, Kristin shares my love for vintage and we chatted about the vintage inspired fun that she incorporated into her recent wedding! While, I absolutely loved Kristin and everyone at FX Studios I don’t know if I will be able to go with them for the big day because it’s not standard practice for them to do on-site wedding day styling…a deal breaker.  But, Kristin is checking in with the management so, fingers crossed.

I must say she did a pretty amazing job recreating the photo I gave her! Check out the side by side comparison:

vintage wedding hairClose up

Let me know what you think of Hair Trial #1. Also, if any of you have any recommendations for a hair stylist that can do the finger wave curl.  I am having a tough time finding someone so, any help would be appreciated.

Love AND Football

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Football is kind of a big deal at our house and this weekend will be yet another test of our love for our teams.  Ray VS Brady: Ravens VS Patriots…it’s the playoffs and this just got real!

Chadwick and I have had an interesting playoff history from the beginning of our relationship see below (an admittingly biased view):

2009 Playoffs 33-14 Ravens, the game started with the memorable 83 yard touchdown run by Ray Rice (when my taunting began) and ended with the Patriots pondering their first home playoff loss in 32 years

2011 Playoffs 23-20 Patriots, the game ended with a heartbreaking “dropped” touchdown pass to Lee Evans

2012 Playoffs Ray Lewis’ Last Ride, Ravens seeking justice and Brady being Brady

When I look back on the first 2 playoff runs between our teams during our relationship, I think we were somehow saved from a potential disaster.  2009 we were still in the “honeymoon” phase of our relationship where we each thought the other was perfect, so we didn’t let football get too much in the way of our young romance.  Then last year we thought it would be the perfect time for our parents to meet so, we had an even viewing audience and things worked out well (minus the Ravens loss), AND now this year it’s up to me… Chadwick has given me the responsibility to choose how we watch the game.  We can watch it together or he’ll watch it by himself and I’ll go watch it with Mom and Dad.

I have reservations about both options…

I must say I am a pretty lucky lady.  Mr. Chadwick is the ultimate gentleman even when it comes to football.  When watching Ravens games he comments on good plays and he’s encouraging when I lose hope.  Even this past weekend when I had doubted my Ravens he renewed my faith moments prior to the last Manning interception before the big win.  But, I unfortunately cannot say the same for myself.  I have an innate adverse reaction to the sight of Tom Brady and I have been trying to tame it since we’ve met but, it’s an ongoing struggle.     Hence my reservations to watch the game together…

But, no one deserves to watch one of the most exciting games of the year for a team they are immensely passionate about by themselves.  Especially, not Chadwick…and when I really think about it one of the things that I love about him the most is his passion and loyalty to his sports teams: New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, Boston Bruins, the list goes on.  AND I know it’s one of the the things he loves about me, he was one of the first to like and comment on the below Facebook post I wrote about Ray Lewis’ retirement

Ray Lewis' Retirement

So, I think I am going to be brave and watch the game with Mr. Chadwick and hope to contain myself enough to be considerate of the love of a man and his football team, my love.

Wish me luck!

Venues, Venues and more Venues

There are way too many beautiful options when it comes to wedding venues.  Who knew?! Certainly not this lady!!

Luckily for the Mr. and I we have come to an early decision to keep the wedding outdoors. So that has eliminated a lot of choices but, there are still way too many.  It’s a little overwhelming.  I must admit.  I have been doing some preliminary research online.  Along the way I have been sharing little bits and pieces of the good stuff with Chadwick and I feel blessed that he is so receptive and has a lot to contribute.

I guess the biggest problem for me is my borderline stubborn commitment to not have a typical wedding…I am so determined to have our fete be so uniquely us that everyone leaves our celebration saying this was a wedding unlike any other.   My goal is not being the best wedding ever and certainly not the most elegant and no where near the most expensive, but the most US!  As most of my friends and family will agree I have a big personality and Mr. Chadwick is right up there with me with his, so I want to make sure I do both of us justice.

So far this is some of the inspiration that has gotten the wheels turning as to where to host our beautiful day:

The gorgeous Victorian rose garden at Antrim 1844, a classic choice.

The gorgeous Victorian rose garden at Antrim 1844, a classic choice.

The rooftop terrace at the Maryland Science Center, a more urban, funky  spot.

The rooftop terrace at the Maryland Science Center.  A more urban, funky spot.

Roop's Mill, a hometownish historic landmark in Carroll County.  When the Mill was deserted I always hoped someone would restore it and they have and it's beautiful.

Roop’s Mill, a hometownish historic landmark in Carroll County. When the mill was deserted I always hoped someone would restore it and they have. And it’s beautiful! Plus, Mr. Chadwick has spoiled me with the Spa treatments here so, it’s been a special place for us.

Chadwick and I have both enjoyed frequenting the Baltimore Farmer's market and supporting local farmers.  Plus, it's a true homage to both of our families.

Farm to table: Chadwick and I have both enjoyed frequenting the Baltimore Farmer’s market and supporting local farmers. Plus, it’s a true homage to both of our families’ histories.

If any of brides or grooms out there have some advice on what helped you choose a venue PLEASE SHARE!!

Christmas is Only 5 days Away

Merry Christmas

Christmas is such a very special time of the year for almost everyone, and I can’t help but feel like it is extra special for me this year.  I just feel so blessed to be surrounded by so much love in my life.  Between my incredible family and soon-to-be family and my dear friends, I don’t think life can be much better.

One of my favorite things about Christmas is not buying the most expensive or glamorous presents but, taking the time to find something that is thoughtful or sentimental as a way to show someone just how much you care.

Lucky for me Mr. Chadwick has the same mindset, but he does it better that anyone I have ever met.  I unfortunately learned this the hard way early on in our relationship.  Mr. Chadwick and I’s first Christmas was soon after we had started dating.  We had only been seeing each other for a few months, so I had a “I’m not sure what to do on this first major holiday,” approach.  I had teased Chadwick relentlessly about his, at the time, preference for instant coffee.  I didn’t even know that such a thing had existed and I was skeptical to say the least that something so horrid could be any where near as delightful as a warm cup of freshly brewed Starbucks.  So, after agonizing over what to get him I had this brilliant (or so I thought) idea to buy him a coffeemaker.  It was practical so not too serious and kind of funny since the whole coffee thing has been an ongoing joke between us.

He however, was not messing around.  He went full force with Christmas gifts ranging from thoughtful(an office calendar, my fav show at the time)  to practical (a gym bag) to incredible (a beautiful cashmere scarf) and beyond.  I remember opening up gift after gift thinking worse and worse about my decision to go the safe route with the coffeemaker.  I had been reluctant to go BIG our first Christmas for fear that I would be making my self too vulnerable and get hurt, when he might not get me anything.  Boy was I wrong!  That first Christmas showed me a lot about this man I was falling for.  Not only does he love to make other people happy but, he does so without expecting anything in return.

Throughout the past few years I have tried to meet his Christmas challenge and feel as though I fail miserably every time.  He always seem to get me something so perfect and thoughtful and awesome that I don’t think I will ever top his natural born talent.  But, I look forward to keep trying year after year for the rest of my life <3

Merry Christmas Everyone!

In the beginning

Today marks one week since Mr. Chadwick popped the question.  Thinking about that today inspired me to look back at the beginning. Beginnings are always such an interesting part of your life and when you really take some time to think about it there are almost an infinite amount of them throughout your life.  The beginning of your life, the beginning of your education, the beginning of your adulthood, you get the idea.  So, I welcome you to yet another beginning: the beginning of Mr. Chadwick and I.  Our love story, the engagement, and everything that is about to commence in the way of our wedding planning.

Our little love story all began with the modern day love letter, email.  I am a self professed hopeless romantic. (I blame on all of the Disney movies) So, I of course saved every one.  When preparing to begin this blog I reread the majority of them and it was such an incredible experience to tap back into that mindset of our budding romance.  I really just can’t help myself so, I have to share some of the love with you. Here are some of my favorite little quotes,

it’s strange how a day can pass and it seems as though I haven’t seen you for a week!

how the sound of your voice can put a smile on my face!

I’ve always had a crush on you….there was just something about you that I found irresistible.

you make me smile!

Such sweet little glimpses into some of our first moments of realizing how happy we make one another by just simply being a part of each others lives.  I can’t believe how lucky I am to have found my Mr. and I can’t wait to be his Mrs.

One of the earliest photos I could find of the two of us. We had been dating for a little over a year here.

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