Goodwill good finds for wedding

Now that I’m back from some travels I have some great finds I want to share with you that were used for Dr. Merrett’s beautiful wedding.  [note: must find new name for Dr. Merrett…] On another recent trip to Goodwill I found this awesome retro set of 70’s green frames and thought I’d spruce them up with a modern bright white glossy look. And since I had the spray paint out, I remembered that a while ago I bought this big gold frame thinking it would work well for BFOTB[M]’s baby shower with a vintage circus theme (coming up this weekend!) but seeing the other frames with such crisp newness in white, well, I couldn’t stop myself. I love the idea of bringing a bunch of found items together and unifying them with the same color. I’m sorry to say that I didn’t take photos of them once they were finished – but you know what bright white gloss looks like. Imagine that. It really made the frames look modern.

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I was delighted at another fabulous Goodwill find: this awesome metal scroll birdcage! It has a short chain at the top so it can hang from a ceiling (maybe with candles in it for a romantic room accent?) and the top folds back staying open with a chain, making it perfect to hold cards on the gift table at Dr. Merrett’s wedding. I love it the way it is but I think it would also look fabulous spray painted just about any color. I’m going to hold off, though, to avoid going top crazy on the bright white gloss (do you also find spray painting items to be particularly addictive? Nothing in my house is safe!)

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And lastly, I’d been eying this scroll room divider from Urban Outfitters for months and months but couldn’t justify the purchase until Dr. Merrett showed me a photo of an idea she wanted to use for her wedding – it was a fence with frames hung on it to tell guests their table numbers.  Genius! Luckily I scooped it up on sale for almost half price!  It folds down to half the height so it can easily store away when not in use but I can think of plenty of places and spaces it works in: as a really cute headboard propped up against the wall, standing in the craft room to hang ribbons or as an inspiration board to pin fabric or photos, and even in the garden to maybe let a wandering vine find its way through the scrolls.  Just lovely!

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Have you found anything good lately?

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Love Birds Bridal Shower

Dr. Merrett is officially getting her doctorate this weekend and so I thought it would be timely to share some of the special details from her darling “love birds” bridal shower that the Merrett women hosted in her honor.  I had such a blast making the decor and will soon be featuring some of it for sale in my Etsy shop so stay tuned or feel free to shoot me a message with any requests for orders.

I think maybe my favorite part of the shower was Pin the Bow Tie on the Groom. Usually I hate shower games but this was so much fun!   (tip: I didn’t know this but a lot of copy places will make pretty cheap engineer prints in black and white, so something to think about if your large photo doesn’t need to be too high in quality or resolution.)

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The Bride-to-Be pinning the bow tie on her dapper groom!

Even Baxter got in on the bow tie action! I definitely need to find him a darling little bow tie to wear on his collar. Too cute.

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Decor included:

  • Yarn wrapped monogram “T” from a craft wood letter found at Michael’s, along with fabric flowers that were leftover scraps from my DIY Wave Wall Art project.

  • “Love” sign made of corks cut in thirds, mounted on cardboard.

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  • The ethereal Initial mug from anthropologie was a perfect compliment in red floral on the dessert table.
  • T zinc letter from anthropologie on the gifts table, to be used as home decor in the newlyweds’ new nest! I love these because they are so industrial chic and go with everything! I think buying letters to spell out something would be stunning at any party.
  • Jute wrapped coffee cans (up-cycled) from Trader Joe’s, painted turquoise, along with fabric-covered tea tins.
  • Hemp balls and bowls to resemble nests
  • Mason jars
  • Red ranunculus and gerber daisies from Trader Joe’s (I could not get over how gorgeous the ranunculus were! What a find!)

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  • Cake topper made with bamboo skewers, burlap, cotton tape and rubber stamps.

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  • A pair of hot air balloons found at Goodwill (Deputy Tejeda proposed to Dr. Merrett in a hot air balloon – swoon!).
  • Scrumptuous fresh strawberry-filled cake from Lindmair Bakery in Riverside.

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  • My mama made delicious goodies including cookies, macaroons, butterscotch bird nests (that’s my mother, so appropriate!), turquoise cake balls, almond butterballs, brownies, bon bons (and I grabbed some meringues from Trader Joe’s because they’re just so pretty) for guests to take home in little favor boxes stamped with a thank you and a darling little bird.

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Ever my son, Baxter guarded the desserts for most of the day.

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  • The table settings were repurposed from our wedding two years ago – we got the turquoise and robin’s egg blue plates at Dollar Tree, the silverware at Smart & Final, and the polka dot napkins at Ikea.
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Table with a view featuring StickGirlJAM’s handmade decor

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Love Birds Bridal Shower with turquoise, red, and hemp, burlap and jute decor

We are so excited for the wedding which is just a few weeks away, and I’m busy at work on some of the decor which I’ll be sure to share as well.  Cheers to love!

2nd Anniversary in San Fran

Two years ago my best girlfriends and I went to San Francisco for my bachelorette weekend getaway. Minus Sunday morning napping on a couch in the hotel lobby and the nauseating plane ride home, it was all the perfect fun and laughter this bride-to-be could handle. We had champagne in our room with a view of Union Square, got dressed up like flappers and went to Bourbon & Branch in the Tenderloin (no matter we didn’t know they didn’t serve food – we found an awesome pizza place open late!), went out dancing, had a marvelous breakfast downstairs at Sears Fine Food, a delicious dinner at Pinnocchio Trattoria where our waiter and some foreigners called us all “Bella” throughout the evening…oh, it was just lovely!

This past weekend was another such lovely trip to the Frisco Bay. Wedding related, yes, but oh-so-different. Mumbles and I flew to San Fran for our second anniversary and were so lucky to spend quality time with our cousin/friends Ryan & Page and our friend from college, Muki. The weather was gorgeous; so much so in fact that it almost felt like we could manage living there (we couldn’t; I think 75° is cold sometimes plus the wind and my hair? Forgedaboudit.).

We had a delicious lunch outdoors on the patio at Momo’s across the street from AT&T Park, home to the Giants. I had the most delicious Basil Ginger Lemonade and now I crave it every day! Following our lunch, we took a stroll around the ballpark and even got to watch an inning in the outfield from this neat little tucked in space where you can look on through the fence or watch a flat screen tv (very cool that you don’t even have to pay!).

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That night our friend Muki picked us up and took us for a drive through the Financial District and to dinner at House of Nanking, a very popular place – so popular that you line up outside on the street to get in and then are seated alongside other diners at tables pushed together. It was intimate, funky and fun, plus the food was delicious!

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After dinner Muki played chauffeur and took a drive up to Coit Tower for phenomenal views of the city.

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The next morning, Ryan, Page, Mumbles and I crossed the Golden Gate Bridge up a windy mountain road to get to Muir Woods for a glorious hike through redwoods.

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Our destination was the Nature Friends Tourist Club for Maifest. They are celebrating their 100 year anniversary and we were happy to join in the festivities with beer, sausages, sauerkraut, pretzels, cabbage, and polka. Hikers, hipsters, and lederhosen all mashed together in one place…too much fun!

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Cheers to love, fun adventures, beautiful weather, great friends, and weekend getaways!

Be sure to check out Page’s charming blog, Page on Paper, and tell her how awesome she is. (She is, promise).

The Bachelorette Recap, episode 2 season 8

After last week’s first episode and meeting of the men vying for Emily’s affection, I told you that Ryan was one of my favorites.  And what do you know? This week, hunky former football player is up first for a one-on-one date. 

One-on-one date: Ryan — “Be my King in the Queen’s city”
If it’s even possible, I swoon even more when Ryan advises the other men: “My pastor always told me, ‘If you treat a woman like a queen she’ll treat you like a king.'”  Sigh…

Before their date, Emily tells us that Ryan makes her nervous because he’s so good looking.  I agree. But, she also worries that he may be a little bit too much like Brad, and in that sense, she hopes his dashing good looks don’t get in the way of good judgment.  Good luck with that, sweetheart.

Emily takes Ryan home to her house, pulls into the driveway and tells Ryan to unload the groceries. Not exactly the helicopter/plane/hot air balloon ride be was hoping for, but we can guess there will plenty of that later on this season.

On their date – a ploy to help Emily see how Ryan might fit into her everyday life and for Ryan to see what it’s like to bake cookies for her daughter’s soccer team, Ryan is put to the test in a floral apron.  Emily delcares approval on the batch while the other men sit around and ponder whether Emily will introduce Ryan to Ricki. When Emily and Ryan arrive at Ricki’s soccer game, Emily asks Ryan to wait in the car, as she’s not ready for her daughter to meet any of her suitors yet. Ryan is very humble and says he was honored to be part of her normal day and respects that she asked him to wait in the car. Aww cute.

The second part of their date takes place at one of Emily’s favorite restaurants in Charlotte.  A throng of people await Emily’s arrival to the restaurant like red carpet movie screening. Inside, Emily asks Ryan about his girlfriend, which I thought was odd. He quickly corrects her (“ex-girlfriend”) and it didn’t come across correctly but I liked Ryan’s answer about wanting to keep chasing a woman – his point that the chase shouldn’t end just because you end up together was a bit lost on Emily…maybe that’s why things haven’t worked out for her in the past?  In any case, she flirtily tells Ryan that if it’s a chase he wants, it’s a chase he’ll get.

“I want a man to come in and be the boss…but we’d both really know I’m in charge.” – Emily, with a sly smile.

They have a cute little banter back and forth about chasing one another. They go outside the restaurant where Gloriana is playing “(Kissed You) Good Night.” Emily says it was a perfect date. No kiss but a cute little dip at the end of the song to go along with that rose on his lapel.

Group date with 13 guys: “Let’s set the stage for love”
It’s always awkward in the beginning when we and Emily don’t know all the guys’ names and here she is welcoming them all to this group date with a receiving line of hugs.  The Muppets will be guiding the guys through singing, dancing and comedy for a show to raise money for Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte.

Charlie is very insecure because he’s still having speech issues as part of his recovery from the accident. He finds Emily to tell her that he doesn’t feel comfortable and she is supportive and understanding. I gotta say though, he didn’t have to be insecure – everyone was awful. Stevie enjoys the dancing the most (he’s got jazz hands). The comedians weren’t funny. Charlie was smooth but I wonder if now he will only get pity from Emily?

Chris seems to feel that he and Emily already have a strong connection. Emily says one of her favorite things about him is that he’s so good looking. I have a feeling that this season is going to be even more shallow than I thought.

Emily sought out Jef to find out why he’s playing hard to get. He seems really insecure but she thinks he’s cute, and to be honest she seems pretty insecure too, fishing for compliments from everyone.

Kalon aka “Chopper” cuts in on Stevie’s dance lesson and Jazz Hands is pissed. Just moments later Aaron cuts in on Chopper, which he is devastated by because they were having such an amazing conversation, he and Emily, both being falsely humble and batting eyelashes at one another (“you’re so pretty! no, you’re so pretty!”)…ugh, those two together are too much.

Jef gets the date rose for making Emily feel happy and comfortable. Chris [and all of America] is perplexed by this.

One-on-one date: Joe — “Come close to my heart”
They totally should have played “take my breath away” because Joe looks like the wind got knocked out of him when he pulls up in a limo to see Emily standing on a red carpet next to a plane. They fly to West Virginia, Emily’s home state, to go to the Greenbriar. They suit up and dive in.

Kalon says he doesn’t know how he’d feel about being a dad to someone else’s kid and the dads in the house give some words of wisdom to the group. Kalon accuses them of putting being a dad on hold to come on the show. That doesn’t go over well.

Emily knows already that there is a spark missing with Joe. When asked what he wants in 5 years he says to be happy with no regrets about his relationships and career. When she asks what that means he has no answer.  Trying to mask the fact that Joe has no clue what he wants except to sleep with a hot chick, she totally freaks him out when she says she wants more kids.  A lot more.

“It’s not about five years from now, it’s about fifty years from now.” -Emily

Emily is crying because she’s in this magical place she loves and Joe wrote a beautiful love wish for the love clock that said all the things she wanted to hear but she doesn’t know about him [read: isn’t attracted to him] and so he has to read between the lines and excuse himself. He walks away like it was a business deal, thanking her for the opportunity. And the awkward is amplified when the fireworks go off and she’s standing on the balcony alone.

Sean, Arie and one other guy (Travis?) didn’t get dates this week but my guess is Arie has nothing to worry about.

Cocktail party:

  • Arie gets alone time and tells Emily he dated a girl that had two kids and she is impressed.
  • The guys are pissed because Ryan already has a rose and is alone with her. Tony walks in to interrupt and while Ryan acknowledges that Tony deserves time with her, he urges Emily to read a letter he’s writter her.  (Umm..can’t she read it later?)  It’s painful to see Tony stand there for what had to have been twenty minutes while Emily reads (aloud!) all of the thoughts and dreams and aspirations that Ryan has put to paper.  It’s akin to Rachel’s letter to Ross, 18 pages front and back. Too much, buddy. 

Roses:
Ryan
Jef
Kalon aka “Chopper”
Arie
Michael
Nate
Sean
Chris
Doug, the Dad
Travis
Tony
John
Alessandro
Charlie
Alejandro
Stevie aka “Jazz Hands”

Going home: Aaron the biology teacher from Long Beach and Kyle also from Long Beach. That’s saying something. Maybe they got a two-fer deal on plane flights back home?

Next week:
Egg drop soup, anyone?
One guy misses his kid, one guy wants a kid, another would compromise for a kid…Plus, roller coasters, Dolly Parton, it looks like Arie and Chris get dates, and a storm is a brewin’!

The Voice Season 2 – Two to Watch

After all the drama of The Bachelor’s Hometown dates last night, I was happy to hear some great talent on The Voice. Are you watching this season? I shared a video of my two favorite blind auditions so far, and here are two others I’m adding to my pick list:

Jamie Lono, the Sandwich Maker, singing and playing “Folsom Prison Blues”

Mathai, the destined for medicine-turned-musician:

 

Do you have any favorites so far?

Great Gift Idea: Buddha Board

Have you ever heard of a Buddha Board? It’s a great gift for coworkers, kids, or anyone who likes creative expression and painting. Once you buy a Buddha Board, the only supply you need is water! I have mine in the office and it’s a great mind break for me to clear my head and spend a few minutes painting – really convenient too, because the painting disappears completely after about two minutes, leaving a blank slate for the next moment inspiration strikes you or for the next person to have their turn!

Here’s one of my recent creations – as you can see I’m quite the artist…

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Our [nameless] new dog

My dream has finally come true – we have a dog! Mumbles found a stray dodging cars and wandering around in his office parking lot. He sent me the photos and although his white fur was practically black and a matted mess, he had such a sweet face. I demanded he bring that dog home and that’s just what he did. Good husband.

Poor pupster was covered in fleas so Mumbles lovingly gave him a flea bath and we could tell he was relieved already. Over the weekend his personality really started to shine through. At first we were a little concerned; he didn’t play fetch, eat treats, or make any noise, and he was extremely mellow. Now he’s playing ball, gnawing on bones, running up and down the stairs, and rolling over on his back for lots of lovin’ and giving kisses like crazy. He’s a goofy guy and Mumbles is enamored. So am I. I even wake up early to take him for walks, which, if you know me, really means something as I am not a morning person. We’ve been crate training him and it’s breaking my heart to leave him for work. Your heart would break, too. Just look at his little face.

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Perhaps the funniest thing about this fluffball is that sometimes he sticks his tongue out and his lips move so it looks like he’s mumbling. It’s a match made in doggy heaven!

So, what do you think we should name him? I always wanted a dog named Ravioli, but he really doesn’t look like a Ravioli. I might get over it because I love the name, but here are some other names we’ve been trying out too, and feel free to suggest your own: