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Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Bittersweet Halloween

By this time in October, Trent and I have usually decided on costumes and carved our pumpkins for Halloween. It is tomorrow, of course. This year though, we have other plans. My boss and the owner of our company passed away on Sunday, so this week has been a little harder than most. Instead of handing out candy for Trick-or-treaters tomorrow, we will be headed four hours away for Jim's funeral on Saturday.

Needless to say, it will be a bittersweet Halloween for us. The day of the funeral - November 1 - is also the 6th anniversary of Trent's mom's death. It's hard to believe it's been six years already.

We are hoping to get our pumpkins carved tonight, although I'm sure they will not be as elaborate or creative as years' past. I've had so many other things on my mind this week, I've almost forgotten it's Halloween tomorrow. It has been a whirlwind, and it's been especially strange at work all week without Jim there.

Jim was a wise, caring, and knowledgable man who I will never forget. He cared so much about animals and mankind alike and did every power in his being to help them. We've all learned so much from him and plan to carry on his legacy the best we can.

So this Halloween weekend, I'll be thinking of Jim and will be lighting the candle in my Jack O'Lantern in his memory. R.I.P. Jim!

Image from here

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Home Decor Finds from the Chicago Burbs

Last weekend, Trent and I took a trip up to the Chicago suburbs to visit Haley and Dan. It was the first time seeing their apartment in Batavia, and we had a little time while we were up there to shop, and go to all the stores we only get to go to maybe once a year, like IKEA, World Market, Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, and HomeGoods.

I made out pretty well, I have to say. We had quite the trunk full. Today I'm sharing my loot with you all! (And the links to where you can find them online for yourself).

First up, I picked up this fun frame from IKEA (in Bolingbrook) - the KVILL frame. I am hoping to put this one somewhere in the living room, but I am not sure of the exact location yet, so it's still sitting its wrapping on the side table. I think I may print one of our engagement photos to put in here....

You can find it online here for $4.99. I love how super cheap IKEA frames are! I also picked up two gold frames (also from IKEA) to flank the TV, since my Robin's egg blue ones are more for spring/summer. These gold ones are super stylish and perfect for the fall and winter months. These are the VIRSERUM frame, also $4.99 - here's the link.

I'm starting to bring some gold into my living room color scheme. I've been loving the gold, antiquey look lately. In the photo below, you can see that I finally found something to hang on my YHL Bee hook! Some pretty brass keys from World Market.


Love them. Haley picked up the same ones to hang in her apartment. I knew I had a random hook on the wall for something. Here's the online link, although I think online it's selling all three finishes - I just got the gold keys and they were $7.99.

My third new gold living room decor item is also from World Market. I was super excited about this one, and I LOVE it:

It's a gold mirrored coffee table tray! It looks super expensive, but was only $29.99. That's like the cost of a Target pillow.

I've been looking for a tray for my coffee table for quite a while now. I'm probably going to rearrange some books and all that jazz, but for now, I plopped it on here, and I'm pretty happy with how it's looking for the time being.

What's funny is that at the store, there was a little sticker by it that said "One of the Top Pinned on Pinterest." Of course I was curious and had to look up this tray on Pinterest to see what I found...

It was quite a popular pin! This one is my favorite:

Haha. Love it. Here's the online link to buy it. I also picked up a little giraffe jewelry holder at World Market, which I forgot to take a picture of, but if you search it on Pinterest, there is a set of the giraffe and an elephant one, which are both super cute.

One of my favorite stores that we got to visit is Anthropologie. We went to the new one in downtown Naperville. I just love that store, even though a lot of things in there are so out of my budget. We don't have one around here, so every time I go there I feel like I should splurge on a few things. Their home decor items are just so unique!

I picked up a few kitchen decor items - first, a couple of monogram mugs, which I have seen before online, and love!

And perhaps my favorite item that I picked up from Anthropologie is this plate, which I've had on my wish list for a very long time!

I just love the design. It looks so vintage and hand painted, and I love the colors together in this one.

Another unique Anthro item is this "K," which is actually made from an old book. Each letter is handmade, and it is an actual Readers Digest book:

You can get them online here.

Finally, at IKEA we also got plenty of practical items, like always. Baking pans and cookie sheets...and a new full-length mirror for the bedroom!

Not sure if I have a picture of our old one, but it was smaller than this one and leaned against the wall. We had to bend down to actually see our heads in that one, and it was definitely time for a new mirror up in here! It's simple and clear, and I love it. Trent hung it up this week. Its IKEA name is STAVE, but we like to call him Steve. You can get Steve online here - it was $40 in the store.

So that's most of my home decor loot from last weekend! I left HomeGoods and Crate & Barrel empty handed. I think I did pretty good though, right?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Wedding Flower Inspiration

So, I'm kind of in the process of planning a wedding... Just a little. And last week I shared my wedding cake inspiration. This week, I'm sharing my flower inspiration.

We have not met with a florist yet, but I have a pretty clear idea of what "look" I'm going for. Color. Peach. Pink. Big Blooms. Some light green accents. Here are some of my ideas from Pinterest (sources below the photos):

Sources: 1 | 2

For my bridal bouquet, I'm thinking big. Big blooms, and a mix of soft and bright colors. I love peonies, but since our wedding is in late summer, it may be hard to get them. So I will probably go with garden roses as my main flower, which I still love.

Sources: 3 | 4

Our main colors are peach, pink and mint, so I think most of the flowers will be peach and pink, but I love the brighter accents, and succulents are great for bringing in that soft green color.

Sources: 5 | 6

Here are David Austin's "Juliet" roses, which I will probably be incorporating a lot into our flowers: 

Source: 7

Love the soft peach color and vintage feel. They smell like peonies, too.

Source: 8

Those bridesmaids' bouquets are gorge. And the centerpieces I'm having will probably be pretty similar to these below - milk glass vases galore. Love.

Sources: 9 | 10

Can't wait to put together what I'm envisioning. Or better yet, see it all in person. Hope you enjoyed all of the beautiful flowers in this post! Thank you, Pinterest! :) Have a good weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

My New Toy

Popping in because I've completely forgotten to post that I've been blogging from a new computer! My old Macbook Pro has pretty much bitten the dust (I've only had it since I graduated from high school, no big deal).

But it's been replaced now. By this guy:

Yep, this is what I'm blogging from these days. Well, since last Tuesday when it came in the mail. I was quite a happy girl. :)

It's much lighter, faster, has a lot more space, and the battery life is much better. So overall life is good...just had to shell out a few pretty pennies. And I still have a perfectly good iMac upstairs, but it's upstairs. And sometimes I just want to blog from the couch and watch my shows at the same time. You know how it goes. Up there I'm kind of isolated, and my office is now pretty much where Saleen calls home, so that means I have to burn some smell-good candles and all that jazz.

Anyway....just wanted to post about my new toy. Now is it the weekend yet? :) 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Fall Outside 2014

I have soo much to catch up on here...Lots of wedding planning and progress going on, took a little trip up to Haley and Dan's this past weekend and had tons of fun home shopping and playing board games. I hope to have a post soon with all the awesome new goodies I took home!

In the mean time's still beautiful and fall-like out there, and isn't really too cold yet, which is nice. I haven't done too much with the front porch this year. Keeping it pretty simple. Here's what the house is looking like these days....

We picked up a few mums for the porch - I had a coupon for buy 2, get one free at Home Depot.

And of course we got a few pumpkins again from the pumpkin patch at my Grandma's house.

Mr. Scarecrow is also making his appearance again, as well as the Welcome pumpkin I painted last year, and my faux ghost pumpkin.

It's not perfect...the house looks like it needs pressure-washed again, and of course the door is still all messed up from a year ago when we got the foundation "fixed." Good times! Did you know it's been almost exactly a year? And it snowed the first day they were out here, at the end of October? Crazy. I am not ready for that!

Until next time....

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Basement Door - Progress

It's been a long time since I blogged about the basement door that Trent worked on all summer. I mentioned it briefly in this post. Who knew putting in a new basement door would take sooo longgg. But when your house is over a century old, sometimes it takes 3 or 4 months. So it's time for an overdue update. At the beginning of July, this is what the old, dilapidated, rotted basement door looked like (complete with yellow spray foam insulation everywhere):

It seriously looked like an old door in one of those horror movies. "Come down to the basemenntttt..." Perfect for Halloween. Ha.

Anyway.... moving on, you can tell we never really used this door a lot. But we needed to rebuild the door frame and install a new one that could actually be used for easy access when we start bringing in new floor beams, gravel, cement, and floor jacks to put down here. Needless to say, it only took a couple hits to knock this baby down.

The black cord you see running across in the photo is the cable for the tv. Since we have satellite, we don't use this anymore, but we will probably be keeping it and just moving it out of the way in case a future owner wants cable.

Here's the view from inside the basement once Trent got the old door removed.

A little messy to say the least...but just look at that lovely, not so stable brick wall that the door was built into. Yep, Trent had his work cut out for him with that one.

By August though, he had the new door all framed and secured. It was a tight fit at first, so he had to chisel some of the brick on one side to get it to fit. The doorway is also smaller than most, so he probably had cut a foot off of the (steel) door to get it at the right height. Rest assured though, it now opens and closes with no problem and fits pretty well in the new doorway. He did a pretty good job!

Fast forward to October, Trent's been getting all of the mortar/concrete work finished to secure the door frame to the bricks inside. No water or air is going to escape this door!

If you look closely, you can see that we have an actual, legit doorknob with a lock and key. Never had that on this door before! It's actually functional now, which is nice, and it's getting to the point where we'll actually be able to use it probably next summer, when we work more down there getting the house leveled and some of the floor beams replaced under the house.

I just couldn't resist throwing this picture in know he just looks so happy to be working on this door for the third month now....

All joking aside, though....After the concrete is all dry in the door frame, Trent is going to be spraying the open, wooden part of the frame with insulation, and then he'll put the door trim back on the outside to finish it up.

It's coming along, slowly but surely. The basement is still spooky looking, but it's still a work in progress and we have a long way to go with the whole project! Maybe in the next couple of years we won't be so busy planning weddings and will actually be able to work more on house projects! I'm hoping this winter to get indoor projects done, like the hallway and maybe finishing some living room window trim that we started, oh...4 years ago! We can only hope! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cake Inspiration

I want to give a shout out to my mom today, since today's her birthday! Happy birthday, Mom! And it's the perfect post for today, because it's all about CAKES! I love cakes. Most of these are wedding cakes, but there's also plenty of cute little cakes to go around...(I wish they were real and right in front of me, but what can you do!)

This past Saturday was our cake tasting at a local bakery, so I've been pinning cakes on Pinterest like crazy all week long! Let me tell you though, I love looking at pretty cakes, and the eye candy was not bad at all. So I thought I would gather a bunch of my favorite pretty cakes right here, all in one place, in case anyone else is looking for some cake inspiration.

These are all my favorites from Pinterest - from tiny to tier cake. I especially love the ruffly and textured cakes, and took inspiration from some below for our wedding cake design. (Psst - It's going to be white and ruffly with fresh flowers) Enjoy! (Sources are directly below the photos)


(3, 4)

(5, 6)

(7, 8)

(9, 10)

(11, 12)

 (13, 14)

Are those cakes amazing or what? I can only hope ours looks just as beautiful. 

Hope you enjoyed drooling at them as much as I did! 

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