Saturday, December 7, 2013

Thanksgiving 2013 ~ Dining Table Centerpiece

Ok so I'm going to mix this up a bit and show you my Thanksgiving centerpiece adventure from last week. Since I work for a specialty rental company called the Attic, I decided to showcase Attic items for this centerpiece. {Check out the website here!}

Picture by picture, step by step, I'll show you how I put together this centerpiece using the Attic pieces plus some other extras from my own collection.

First, I needed an plan. I wanted to do something different. I had this slight vision of a centerpiece idea in my head, and I ran with it, even though I was blind in not knowing where I was headed. All I knew was that I wanted some sort of cluster. A grouping of some sort.

I started with my base: A thick and wide log round (no picture). Below are the items that make up the rest, and a picture of the first time I put those items together in order to start getting a visual for what I was about to create.

I used some gold/champagne mercury tea light votives:

Vintage bottles:

Gold candlestick holders and pillar candle holders:

Antlers (from my own collection):

Then after grabbing some pine cones from the back yard, I used this champagne colored spray paint (from Michaels) to spray them with. (You can cover the cones in the paint or just spray on the edges. It just depends on how much you want the cones covered or shiny. I did some of both.)

Next, I bought flowers. I bought them at Fred Meyer here in town. They seem to always have a pretty good selection. I didn't want a whole lot of color though, just a very natural look, with a hint of shine. So I just added a small amount of color using berries which still fit in with my natural look.

Then began the arranging. After I arranged the flowers in the bottles to how I liked and what seemed best, I started arranging the bottles and candle sticks in the middle first. (Most importantly, making sure no flowers were too close to the tops of the candles.) Once I liked the set up, I filled in with pine cones and added the antlers and votives around the base. I took advantage of the altering heights to make this work from all sides.

Then to finish the table setting and the dessert display...

And after all that, time spent with family, and eating delicious food made for a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Thank you to my wonderful mom who sat there almost the whole time watching me, helping and supporting my ideas! She also is the one who planned out the china and place settings. ;)
Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Ceremony Is Not A Performance.

Over this past summer, as I worked every weekend on a wedding, I had a wonderful time getting to help produce some very different and unique weddings. That's the great thing about this job, is that you really get to try it all. You get to see what it would be like if someone actually did *that* or had *that* or managed to pull *that* off at their wedding.. and it's fun to do new things every weekend.


There were a couple times this season that I noticed a little more about the different and unique ceremonies. They were more of a performance than a marriage ceremony. Either the couple was way too picky, and detailed about how they would be seen during the moments giving their vows, or they were too worried about how every little thing had to be just right.

Now let me set straight the line between a performance, and making things pretty.

Dictionary definition for performance:

: an activity that a person or group does to entertain an audience.

Did you see that? "Entertain.."

Now, is a marriage ceremony about entertaining an audience? I don't think so.

Dictionary definition for ceremony:


: a formal act or event that is a part of a social or religious occasion

: very polite or formal behavior

Now obviously, I'm a wedding planner. I out of all people understand how all the little things need to be done correctly in order for everything to be perfect. I like to make things pretty, and special. But I also am a traditionalist. And I love the incredible, powerful and emotional importance of what a wedding ceremony is about. I mean after all, the reception is a celebration for what the ceremony holds. The ceremony should be about two people coming together as one. They are giving their lives to one another, to make it one life they will live together until the day they die.

The people seated behind or around you, are there as witnesses to that vow. Because they love and care for you. Sure, the set up can be (and I think should be), pretty. And it should be special. But, it's not about performing to the guests. Doing all this confusing choreography, standing here, now there, worrying about who can see you when... They all can see you just fine, even if they only see your backs. They still know what they're watching, and understand why they are there. You, as the bride or groom, just need to focus on why YOU'RE there. What's happening in front of you and to you. Don't worry about anything else! It's about vowing a new life with that person you're holding hands with, and what the officiant is saying. Don't make it a big show. It's already an amazing show. It doesn't need more than that.

Hope that isn't too confusing. It's not always easy for me to write down what is in my head, to make sense of what I'm expressing.

Until next time..

I think I'm back.

Ready to write again!

Ok, wow. It's been a long time since I last posted anything. My blog came to mind quite a few times, but I just never had the right words in my head to create something meaningful on here. I was also busy. Very busy with work and vacations, and changes, and family and LIFE.

Over these past few months, I've really been thinking about how much time I spend on social media and trying to cut that time down. But it's so hard, because these days, that's what we live by. Like for instance, I feel so silly when I realize I never leave my phone. I'm not just talking about when I leave the house. No, I mean when I go from room to room. Or even to the bathroom. I always take my phone and it's just ridiculous! So then I'll try leaving it. If I'm going to the kitchen to get something, or to the living room, I'll leave it in my bed room. And then I miss an important phone call. Of course. So I guess it's just a matter of delicately understanding the line between how much is too much. I get so annoyed when I see people using Facebook as their diary. Or their daily log book. I really don't understand why people don't understand that the world doesn't care what you do, every. single. hour.

I think about Twitter. I have an account. And at one point, a couple years ago, I was on it every day. Now? I'm never on it. I like what it is. It's cool for a lot of people and a lot of reasons. But I realized lately, when thinking about it, that in order for me to really use it to it's full potential, would mean me looking down at my phone way too often, and not looking around my own surroundings enough. I could be missing out on life's greatest pieces of art, because I thought that tweeting or reading tweets about other people's lives were more important. They're just not, for me.

Anyway, a LOT has gone on this past year! And I thought 2012 was a great year! My last post was in Feb. At that time, I was somewhat dating a guy, long distance. We hadn't 'named' it yet, and hadn't made things official. But now as I'm writing this, we've been "officially dating" for almost 8 months, and still long distance! (He's in Alabama and I'm still in Idaho!) Happy moments have been made though! ;)

I can't say that long distance relationships are easy. I also can't say they aren't worth it. Some might not be, but ours? Totally worth it. It's so hard to be away from him and only getting to hang out every couple of months is not super fun. But we don't plan on this lasting for forever. I mean, if we were, now then it would be pointless. But this is just where we have to be, how it has to be, and why it has to be for now. And until it can move forward and change, we're just relying on the Lord to help and keep us strong in the meantime.

My job was crazy this summer! As I've mentioned, I'm a wedding and event planner and stylist. Last year (2012) I was an intern. It was a busy summer, but very fun! Some hiccups along the way, but nothing too extravagant. This year? I am a lead assistant, and it was another busy and fun summer. However, we had some major hiccups and learned a LOT of good lessons! When you work with people, couples, families, relatives, and other vendors, you just have to realize, you're going to encounter every kind of person, and they are not always going to be easy, nice, or respectful. And you just have to be prepared to deal with it anyway. ;) But never the less, it was a good season.

My boyfriend and I were able to be together four different times, from Spring break, to a beach vacation with my family, his sister's wedding week, and then I just spent a month down in Alabama. I was visiting, well yes, him, but also spending time with my relatives there. It was a nice month away, getting to relax, and getting to spend non-vaction-but-actual-regular-time with him. :) (I was also sick with a nasty cough/cold the first two weeks :P)

Now it's the beginning of November, the leaves have been covering the ground, Christmas is hinting through store catalogs and displays, commercials and my Spotify account, and I'm realizing I need to make a Christmas gift list! Where did the time go?!? I absolutely LOVE this coming time of year and cannot wait to get it officially started, with Thanksgiving!

So many more things have been going on and changing as of this year, but it's all for the better. I think. I hope.

Anywho, now that I've got my re-introduction//coming back after a few long lost months, I will end this, so I can begin writing my next and new thoughts that I would like to share. :)

Happy raking. (Not.)

Friday, February 22, 2013

A Concert & A Thought.

So back in Nov. I had just gotten back into town after being gone almost the whole fall. I heard there was a Carrie Underwood concert coming through Spokane in Feb. She is probably my favorite female country artist, and I just adore her. I really am not star-struck by celebrities and I certainly do not worship them! I find that strange and unhealthy for people to love someone so much that they've never met and probably won't ever meet. But I do think Carrie Underwood is a beautiful girl inside and out. I love her music, style, and I love that she shares her faith. And honestly, she's the only artist I've ever said I'd like to meet one day. I don't know why, and I don't even know what'd I'd ask her, lol.

Anyway, by the time I heard about the concert, there were no tickets left, or that is, that I could afford. The concert was selling out, and fast. So, with the busy holiday season approaching and much other more important things in my life going on, I put it aside. Even though it's someone I'd LOVE to see in concert, I decided it wouldn't be worth it unless I had great seats! The cheapest tickets at that time were incredibly expensive. (For me, during Christmas. ;)

Fast forward to Feb.
The day before her concert, I heard on the news, followed up by Facebook friends, that Underwood was hanging out in downtown Cd'A, and shopping in stores I go into often. Just two mins from my home. I was so sad I wasn't downtown, and was jealous that so many others got to just "run into her" in shops. But I never have moments like that. Haha! I was sounding a little selfish, but I was so jealous!

I checked for last min tickets online and I couldn't even find any. So once again, I gave up. I just decided to wait to see her another time, and it wouldn't be the end of my life.

Thursday morning, day of concert, I received a text from a someone about how TicketsWest had released some open seats for sale. I looked online, but it didn't list anything. And for a sold out show, I figured if any tickets opened up, they'd be gone in a flash. Well, about 4ish hours later, I left work, and heard on the radio that tickets were still available. Not really believing it, I went ahead and called TicketsWest, and 2mins later, had confirmation that there were floor section seats available for about a third of the original price. I was stunned, and hurriedly called my sister. I told her, asked her if she'd want to go with me, waited while she called her husband (to figure out kid details) and called back to reserve the tickets. Then I rushed through the rest of Costco, (where I was buying them over the phone, while trying to pick out avocados) hurried home, changed clothes and headed back out to meet my sister and head to Spokane.

We had a blast! It was a really awesome concert, well put together and well done by Carrie herself. She is one artist who can really perform great live! I sang along to the songs, took a bunch of photos on my iphone, enjoyed being with my sister, and enjoyed a beer. (What?! It's a country concert, ya gotta have at least one! ;) our seats were on the floor section, but back a ways. They were good seats, but me being short, I still had the unfortunate view of a few very tall people that blocked the center stage :/ but it don't ruin my night. Because, really, I was just happy that I was able to be there.

So why was I so stoked?! Why was I freaking out when I realized I was actually going? It's just a concert. It's just another famous singer, with talent and good looks. Why do I care so much? I guess I've gotten pretty excited at most concerts I've attended. Probably because where I live, we don't get too many big events through town. And even less that you're able to attend, or want to attend. But still, why was it so exciting and so fun?

Here's what was going through my mind at the concert, after, and today.
Humans just have a natural instinct to get excited when there are a few thousand other people excited about the same thing. If one person is, it builds and builds. (See my post from fall 2012 about excitement building up)
I still don't think it's healthy when I see 14 and 15-year-old girls practically crying just trying to get an Instagram "like" from their favorite celebrity. It's weird and sad.

Maybe it's because if you don't know Jesus, you long to adore something so big and so great. It's in our nature. We were created to be in the image of Christ. So we all want to worship something and someone. (I just won't raise my kids believing that a celebrity has that much meaning in their life.)

But I do understand how it's fun to just enjoy being that excited. I really appreciated it last night during the concert when Underwood spoke of some of her songs changing peoples lives and how that meant so much to her...followed by her two songs that describe God in our lives. {Jesus Take The Wheel & Temporary Home} Underwood is not quite as outgoing about her faith like some. She's honest about it but doesn't make it a huge priority to let it be known loud and clear. I would appreciate it and like her that much more if she did. But, she doesn't lie about it, and I can appreciate it for that much.

I was standing there listening during one of the songs, and just started watching other people. I looked all around me. The Spokane arena, full. And everyone was cheering, yelling, singing, screaming... I thought *Wow.. What it must be like to stand up there, being so well known, and having an arena with a few thousand people screaming for you. How do you even begin to comprehend that?" And this is just one stop on her Blown Away tour. Multiple cities...tons more people. Then I thought *I wonder how God feels when a huge group of people are worshiping him* I have been to Creation, a Christian music festival, a few times. And it was amazing to look around and hear thousands of people singing a worship song together, to Him.

But even if it's not a few grand, if it's just your church of a couple hundred? He still hears. And if it's just you by yourself? Yeah, He still hears it. And I'm willing to guess He loves it just as much. ;)

As a believer in Christ, I want to express my excitement and love for Him like so many people express for so many celebrities. Sure, its pretty fun to meet a movie star, or get backstage tickets to a concert of the biggest band of 2013, or even become the winner of one of the big TV singing contests. But no matter how big that person might seem now, they are still nobody compared to Jesus, and they will mean nothing when we come face to face with the God of the universe. (I'm not trying to make that sound so unpleasant. It's just the reality of it.) He does love us, even though we are small specs. So why not let Him know you love him back? Because unlike Miss Carrie Underwood, God actually hears you tell Him. She's sweet but she can't be everywhere at once, talking and listening to everyone everywhere, all the time. ;)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!

I hope today is finding you well, whether it’s spending time with your love, or cramming chocolates into your mouth (even though you promised yourself you’d wouldn’t), I hope it’s a fun one!

Today I want to recognize the true heroes of this glorious day of love- men. Without them, we’d have nothing to celebrate, right? We wouldn’t wake up to love notes, or have that box of chocolates and a bouquet of pink roses delivered to us at work, and we sure as heck wouldn’t be so excited to get dressed up and stick on those 3inch heels for just another week night in February. But hey, here we are, wondering why we even care so much. But really, don't forget to thank your man if he did so. It's not easy being a man these days. Some women put so much pressure on them to be so perfect. They are only human, and so are you. They're trying, I promise.

Side note: I was in Hallmark this week grabbing a couple silly v-day cards and the sign above the Valentine’s section said “Valentine’s Day - Thursday, February 14th.” Because, well, I guess some men do forget what day it falls on each year. Ok, I should be fair, I’m sure some women forget too.

We really do a great job of rubbing this whole *Oh yeah, Valentine’s Day is soon! Gotta be all lovey-dovey to everyone this week!* to the young ones. Probably one of my favorite moments of this week leading up to v-day, was watching my nephew flirt with an Applebee’s host, whom he also gave a valentine to. He’s 5. BAM.

This year, for me, I’m enjoying it a little more than usual. I have a reason too. And that’s what makes it special. I’m also spending the evening, not in a fancy restaurant or a chick flick at the movies, but in our community theater watching my girl-friend play a crazy beggar woman in “Sweeney Todd.” Yup, cute, right? Lol. It’s what we do for our friends. Or, what we do when the person we would spend the evening with is two-thousand miles away. Haha, that’s why part of tomorrow will also be spent on Skype. I wonder how busy Skype will be tomorrow anyhow?! Gotta guess there will be a few online dating couples who will be

Anywho, I’ve decided Valentine’s day is just one of those days that you might love one year, and hate the next. So on those happy years, you milk the day for everything it’s worth. You eat the sweets, you day dream a little more, you express a little louder your feelings to that one person, all because we decorated our world in love for this one day. All because we were told to do so. But I do think it can be (I said- can be,) slightly silly and shouldn’t be taken too seriously. It’s just one day out of the whole year! We still have 364 other days to express our love! So instead of being worried about how perfect today needs to be, just because it’s v-day, just celebrate loving someone special. (Or just liking them ;) Just be happy.

Well, there’s not much else to say about this interesting day. So I think I’ll leave it at this-
For those of you who are lonely this year, just look at the other amazing people in your life that God gave you and give them a call. (It doesn’t have to be romantic love.)
And to the people who are going out with their hotties, I hope you have fun. No, really have FUN. I hope you remember what a blessing it is to have that person in your life and celebrate what God put in your life.

Now, back to that box of chocolates. xoxo,

Thursday, January 17, 2013

"Stop Being Yourself." Yup, I said it.

As most people have noticed lately, the world is telling us to "just be ourselves" and "express yourself." Hmmm.

When I have an issue, and I'm in need of some work on my heart or attitude, the LAST person I need to consult is myself. I'm the problem in the first place!

Now I know that most of the reason behind the world's view on this is for people to not worry about how they "should be" compared to the rest of the world. That we should "feel good and comfortable in our own skin." We'll yeah, sure, we shouldn't conform ourselves for others.
But the Bible says to live our lives through and in Christ. So if that's how we are to live, but the world says live in our own (human, flesh, sinful,) self, then that would collide with acting stupidly. Like living under the abuse and addiction of drugs, alcohol, self image, homosexuality, ect. You cannot live a life of what YOU think is right and be under the image of Christ. You (I,) have to live in the image of Christ at all times. And if there's something I myself likes or wants to be or do or feel that does not agree with what God says in His Word, then I have to understand why I have to choose against it. Does that make any sense?

So many people today are saying "whatever is right for you, is right for you. And something else can be right for me." Oh my goodness, the millions of problems that leads to!

I guess I could continue down a whole road on that subject and go for miles. But I don't want to right now. I just wanted to get across a main point that I fear we are falling so deep into that is ruining our generation.

First, sure, look at yourself. See what you are and how dirty you are. And then TURN to Christ, and see what HE is. How perfect He is!
"And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation," Hebrews 5:9 (NASB)
Let Him live in and through you. Living for yourself will never work, never feel complete and never give you the true full life you desire. It may feel good for a moment, but will lead you down an awful road.

"For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous." Romans 5:19 (NASB)

So, if you truly want your inner heart, your inner desires, and your whole self to be in the image of Christ, then please! Be yourself! But that's a hard place to stay, (because we are all still sinners.) So, I am going to use the personality traits God gave me, and express the woman He made me to be, but be like Christ. It's not easy! And I will fail. Time after time. We all will. Thank the Lord He already forgave us! But I'd choose that battle any day over being just like the rest of the world which will lie to you over and over again.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2 (NASB)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My Top 5 Beauty Faves

My quick top 5 beauty "secrets"

I don't do a whole lot of research or devote a lot of my time to finding the best beauty options out there, but there's no argument when I come across something that I can honestly say "it's really does work!"

But we all have different bodies, skin, hair, shapes and sizes, not only our clothing size, but even our eye lids are all different. So I know not one thing could possibly work on every girl out there. But, for some ideas to try, (if you haven't already tried these,) keep reading:

1. Too Faced Shadow Insurance - Eye shadow primer that WORKS! I honestly have no idea how I wore eye shadow before I found this. If I skip a day, I always regret it, because my shadow seems to wear off and crease within an hour or so! With this stuff, it'll last the entire day and through!

2. Jergens Natural Glow Express, and Daily Moisturizer. For a copper toned head and fair skinned girl like me, this is the kind of tanning I can work with! I stay away from tanning beds and I'm very careful as too how much sun I allow my skin to absorb. My family has skin cancer history throughout, and I just don't want to play with fire. (No pun intended haha.) The Express is a good start when you need a quick tan. (You can apply once or twice and then continue with the moisturizer.) It's fairly easy to blend in, and though you do need to be careful about small streaks around your wrists or ankles, it's not hard to use and it won't make you look like an oompa loompa! The Daily Moisturizer is what you can use daily as a lotion, SPF 20 sun screen, and plus it's keeps up the good looking bronze! It doesn't stain your hands either. With either one, you can use it less or more depending on how much color YOU want. (Don't let a bottle decide for you how tan you need to be. He's normally wrong.)

3. Bikini Zone Anti Bumps Shaving Gel and Medicated Cream. No matter how you deal with it, taking care of that bikini area is an obnoxious pain. Bikini Zone products really are pretty nice. The gel is great for the shower and then applying the cream afterward actually does work. Let's be real, no one wants to see an embarrassing amount of red bumps lining those cute bathing suit bottoms! Not to mention, ouch!!

4. Loreal Infallible Plumping (that's a word?) Lipgloss. Now, I know not all of us are huge fans of gloss. It's sticky, wears off quickly, and sticks to your hair as soon as the wind slightly picks up. But I have to say, I like this gloss! It's more of a color with gloss anyway. It seems to really last too. Have I timed myself wearing it to see how long? No. But every time I do wear it, I'm pleasantly surprised to see how long it lasts before it wears off. I mean let's be real (again) here, The commercials tell us we can wear a certain lipstick for a whole eight hours while eating drinking, kissing our boyfriend, then a baby's forehead, and then some more drinks, and it's STILL NOT GONE! Yeah.... about that. I'm not sure that's even possible, unless you really stain your lips. So though you might need to fix 'em up a bit after you eat, I don't think it'll kill you. But for wanting your lips to last for more than a couple hours, try this one! Lots of greats shades to choose from too! My personal pick for an everyday look, is "806 Plumped Tawny."

5. Dove Go Sleeveless. I just recently started using this, as I saw the add for it. It's supposed to be good for bumps and irritation. My under arms happen to have quite the problem with that, and I'm a shave-very-often girl. So I bought it. And so far, I like it. It does soften and reduce irritation. But I know some of you need more sweat protection, or something that smells fresh or fruity. This is fragrance free unfortunately. And since it's currently below freezing where I live, I haven't had much of a chance to see if it holds up to my sweat level yet. I'll wait for summer for that.

Ok, one more *bonus* product I want to share. 6. Clinique Moisture Surge, tinted Moisturizer SPF 15. I LOVE this stuff! I don't like to wear a liquid foundation every day. But I also need to even out my skin tones on my face, and liquid helps that more than anything. So, this stuff is my hero. It is a liquid, and it acts like a foundation, but it's not as heavy, not as thick, and it helps your skin at the same time! I use it a lot more often for a foundation. Plus, the SPF is good for summer when I'm headed to the lake for the day. :)

Well, those are just a few of my favorite beauty secrets, that aren't really secrets. ;)

If you have any you'd like to share, I'd love to hear them!