Monday, October 14, 2013

Wedding-palooza: cakes!

I have a huge sweet tooth, so cake is always one of my favorite parts of weddings. 
Our were done by Finale by Glenna and they could not have been more beautiful or more delicious! My mom and I met with them several times before making our final decision and they were always nice and had great input. We were so pleased with the final product!
The groom's cake was Cubs themed cheesecake--adorable! I didn't actually eat any of it in all the craziness, but I heard it was yummy :)
The scalloped cake plates are from Pier One and I still use them today.
I think we found the three tiered cake stand at Michaels (similar here).

We ate the top tier of one of the cakes last night to celebrate our anniversary :) It kept really well in the freezer and I used this post as a guide to thaw it out.
The flavor, almond poppyseed, was out-of-this-world. I forgot how much I loved that cake! I'm overall a huge fan of almond extract, so I see this loaf in my near future.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

One year ago today

One year ago today we embarked on the crazy journey of marriage, and what an amazing year it has been! I couldn't be happier to be doing life with my best friend and main squeeze.
I take you
to be my lawfully wedded husband,
to have and to hold
for better, for worse
for richer, for poorer
in sickness and in health
until death do us part.
I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
Mrs. Alexander

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Wedding palooza: our invite suite

After all the hype about wedding-palooza and organized blogging...silence. I know. I have a good reason. Our computer got a nasty virus last week that put a halt to blogging (or anything on that computer). Originally, we thought we'd take it to Best Buy or somewhere to get it fixed (I did NOT want to lose all the pictures I have stored on this computer), but I spoke with an IT guy at work and he gave me a few options to fix it myself--for free!! And guess what?? It worked! I'll share the resources he gave me at a later date.

Anyway, back to wedding-palooza!
I absolutely love our invitation suite. I generally like paper goods, so I knew I wanted something special and different for our invitations. 
After looking at hundreds of invitations suites on several different websites, we decided on the Modern Calligraphy set by Julie Hanan. I could not have been more pleased with the final product, and Julie was great to work with. She has tons of options for customization and the materials she uses are beautiful.
The only thing I would have changed in hindsight is the font on the address labels. It's a bit hard to read and I think there may have been some delivery confusion because of it.

Overall, we love our invitations. I saved one for a shadowbox on our wall so I can look at it all the time!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Wedding-palooza: the pre-game girls // guys

Hello, October!! Hello, fall. Hello, boots and sweaters. Hello, birthday. Hello, 1 year anniversary!! And hello, wedding-palooza on the blog!
Introductions all around, yall! It's that time of year again, and I'm so excited to share some moments from our wedding. How was that one year ago?? Looking through the pictures, it feels like yesterday... if yesterday was absolutely perfect.

Let's jump on in! 

{the girls}
The morning with the girls was so much fun! We loved getting pampered at Evia Spa and the set up was perfect for our group. They have a long bar area and we brought in food and set up shop for the day. Most of my bridesmaids didn't know each other, so it was fun for everyone to hang out and chat in between hair and makeup. 

Seriously, these girls are awesome.
For their gifts, I ordered these cute monogrammed totes (seen above on the left). They are a great deal for the price and I still use mine fairly often. 

{the guys}
We had such a fun group of guys! Many of them traveled from out of town to be in our wedding (one even came from Brazil--thanks, Maurillio!) and we were so thankful to call them friends and family.
The guys started the day off with a round of golf and then got ready together at the country club before heading to the venue.
We ordered eggplant skinny ties for the guys and I had the backs monogrammed at a local embroidery shop.

We had a great time getting ready together :) and the fun has just begun!

Friday, September 27, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday, friends! I'm linking up with The Lauren Elizabeth for High Five for Friday!

1. On Sunday we started watching Revenge on Netflix and we're already halfway through the first season. It’s sooooo good! Each episode leaves us saying what the whaaaaa???

2. I’m usually not a big fan of flavored k-cups because they’re too sweet. If it comes out of the keurig looking like I already put creamer in it---no.  Don’t get me wrong, I use creamer. I just like to put it in myself… in moderation. Folgers Vanilla Biscotti is subtle and comes out looking like normal coffee! Paired with a caramel creamer-YUM!

3. I read a series from A Typical English Home on organized blogging and time management. I don’t consider myself a super organized person, but I’m not total chaos. I find that most of the work is getting organized; after that, staying organized is fairly easy to maintain.
As far as the blog goes, I’m trying to plan posts ahead of time and have several in the works at once. I have plenty of topics to write about, but coming home from work and finishing a full post from scratch sounds stressful. However, sitting down and writing for a while, maybe editing some pictures without the pressure of hitting “publish” at the end is really nice. I have more time on the weekends to plan and start posts, so I can just tweak, proofread and add pictures to publish content during the week. This is the first week of this plan and so far I love it!

4. I ordered this Tahari coat on Hautelook and I can’t wait for it to come in! I love Tahari, but you gotta catch ‘em on sale. The light color is pretty casual so I know I’ll get a ton of use out of it.

5. I’m loving IOS7 on my iphone and ipad!! It feels like a totally new phone. I’ve heard some complaints about it, but I think it’s user friendly and pretty. I don’t know all the technical differences, so I’m mostly just going off looks and basic functionality. I especially like the new weather app. It makes me feel like I’m outside.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

DIY Industrial cabin sofa table

Industrial cabin? Yep, that's a thing.

This project is the epitome of quick and easy and can be made to fit in any space. We needed a long, skinny sofa table and when we saw this fabulous piece of mesquite ON SALE at Clark’s Hardwood we went for it! 
Yes, lumberyards have sales! Who knew??
This is a really fun statement piece, and everyone who comes to our house asks about it.
I originally envisioned it with a fancy wrought iron base and wasn't too keen on the industrial pipe look. It took some convincing, but I decided to give it a try—and I LOVE it! It’s also a tiny fraction of the cost of a custom wrought iron table base (holy $$$). 

Wood for top
Galvanized pipe for legs
Tee fittings (X6)
Floor flanges (X8)
Fine sand paper
Minwax Polyurethane
Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint

I had some "during" pictures, but I've lost them. Thank goodness it's so easy, pictures aren't required!

First, we lightly sanded both sides and cleaned them off. We also cleaned up the edges a little by pulling off any pieces of bark that looked loose or scraggly. Rhett applied a clear coat of polyurethane in a satin finish on both sides to seal it and bring out the natural colors. When applying poly, use long continuous strokes and follow up with a rag to smooth out any bubbles. Each time you lift up, small bubbles form, so you’ll want to avoid lifting up as much as possible. He used a foam brush to press some poly into the edges to seal those as well. Let the poly dry according to the can—we left ours overnight.
Next, assemble the base! The big box stores sell pre-threaded pipe in various sizes. If you can’t find the size you’re looking for, Lowes will cut and thread pipe to your particular dimensions (more on buying pipe here).  We also got floor flanges and tee joints for the bar across the bottom. I wasn’t super particular about height—I just wanted it to come to about the top of our couch, so the pre-made worked just fine for us.
Put the base together however you like! There are so many ways to connect the pipe--just search pipe table on pinterest for some great inspiration! 
Spray it down with Rustoleum Oil Rubbed bronze spray paint (or don’t to make it look even more industrial). When the paint’s dry, screw the base onto your top and you’re good to go! Make sure you use the right length screw—if they’re too long, they may poke through the top of your table!
Note: In order to connect the base to the top, you have to put floor flanges on the top AND bottom of your base.

Once the top is dry, this is definitely a 1 afternoon project! Which means it's less likely to be 80% finished and sitting in the garage until you get back to it--someday... (I'm talking to you, kitchen table)! 
Gotta love that!

Linked to:

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Backyard orchard: take 2

It has been crazy around here lately, folks! Do I start every post with that statement?

The past two weeks have been especially busy, but I think things are settling down a bit so hopefully more frequent posts are headed your way! I have some projects that I’m dying to share and even more that I can’t wait to pick back up.

For now, how’s about a mash-up of what we’ve been up to lately?

First things first—remember the little backyard orchard we planted in the spring? At the end of that post, I made a comment along the lines of I hope they don’t die immediately. Well, I come bearing good news! They are not only living but thriving—they all have tons of new growth, especially the avocado. I got a bit more proactive in taking care of my little orchard and, in my research, found this amazing citrus forum (and tons of other garden/home/nature related forums from this site for all your plant & yard needs!). You can search by your particular plant and save threads that you like for later reference. In fact, I felt so empowered by the knowledge gained from this database that I expanded my orchard from three (blood orange, page mandarin, lula avocado) to six (+rio red grapefruit, meyer lemon, & mexican lime)! As the end of summer neared, all citrus went on major sale, but since it’s still relatively hot here and we don’t expect cold temperatures for quite a while, it’s fairly safe to plant this late in the game (I searched the forum first just to make sure-ha!).
This is my Rio Red Grapefruit--It may look sad to you, but that's only because you didn't see it when I first bought it. This little guy is on the up-swing!
My meyer lemon and Mexican lime are in pots on our patio for now—planted in a homemade gritty mix. They may end up in the ground eventually once we decide on a master plan and start a major backyard overhaul. For now they are both happy in containers, and if we have a freeze this winter, I can easily bring them in the house or garage for safe keeping.
Left:Meyer Lemon, Right: Mexican Lime
My lime tree is very happy. It bloomed and has fruit of varying sizes all over!
I have been hit pretty hard with Citrus Leaf Miners this year. Nearly every one of my new baby leaves has some damage. From what I’ve read, the damage is mostly cosmetic, but I’d like to get a better handle on it next year. I bought a spray, but it didn’t work at all. I need to go talk to my friends at Wabash Feed Store for their recommendations. Anyone have a fool-proof cure for CLM? I’d love to know your tips & tricks!

Moving along… We went night fishing in Kemah with some friends a few weeks ago and it was a total blast! I’ve never considered myself a fisherwoman, but it was a lot of fun AND, as an added bonus, we caught a ton of fish! We fished into the wee hours of the morning (we got home at 5am) and spent the rest of the day lounging around and taking naps. I think I enjoyed the lazy day with my man just as much as our night fishing excursion! Those are the best sometimes, amiright?

I said we caught a ton of fish...I didn't say they were huge :) Sushi for one?

My little brother and my cousin got their Aggie rings last Friday! This is a HUGE day at A&M—I think I looked forward to my ring day more than my graduation day! We went up to celebrate with everyone on Friday and went back for the game on Saturday. It’s so nice to be on campus and NOT have to go to class! I don’t miss college at all (if you couldn’t tell from this post). I’m very happy with my big girl life :)

One last thing: Our 1 year anniversary is in October!! I can’t believe how quickly it's flown by, but at the same time, I can’t believe all we've done in one year’s time. Since our wedding photos came in during my blogging hiatus, I’m going to be sharing them (and other wedding/1st year related bits) throughout the month of October to celebrate!

Happy fall, y’all! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

summer sweets

Can you believe it's late August??? We've been soaking up the last bits of "summer" summer and gearing up for "fall" summer here in Houston, Texas (it will be warm until approximately December 20th, so we aren't packing up our shorts or anything).
Two summer musts around here are fresh fruit and ice cream, both of which I've used recently used to make fabulously easy and delicious desserts.
Oh. My. Gosh.
This is a crowd stopper, yall. I made it for a family get-together/birthday party for my MIL. We had about 20 people, so I decided to make this cake and supplement with fancy cupcakes from a cute shop nearby. Guess what? No one ate the cupcakes. Because summer is about ice cream. And it's pretty rich so it fed more than expected.
I apologize for the lack of cute pictures--working with ice cream subjects you to certain time constraints.
That's the birthday girl in the middle :) with my SIL, Brennan, and my grandma, Nan. I love that we live close to both of our families and I LOVE our mixed get togethers. 
Quick note: The recipe calls for a quart each of chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Enter The Great Divide. 

Okay, this next one is still in my fridge and I may or may not have already had a big bowl already tonight.
Wow. I mean, I bought a skillet just to make this. 
What kind of southern girl doesn't have a cast iron skillet? I don't know. Let's move past it.
If you don't have a skillet, get one. And get some peaches while they're fresh and delicious!
I didn't peel mine. Mostly because I was already hungry and didn't want to spend X amount of time peeling peaches (aka lazy). We couldn't tell a difference.
This cobbler is soooo good. Crunchy on top and gooey inside--with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream, it's summer dessert perfection!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The backyard orchard

When we moved into our house in March, we decided to do a few things to the inside and hold off on the yard and outdoor area for a little while. 
BUT THEN, our neighbors peach tree started to grow delicious, beautiful, tiny peaches (approximately 80% of which fell into our backyard). And we were bitten by the fruit tree bug!
 Squirrel for scale. But mostly because it's the cutest thing ever.
I'm not 100% sure why their peaches are so small, but from the knowledge I've gained after researching for our own fruit trees, I think it's because they only have one tree. If there were another peach tree close by, they would cross pollinate each other and their fruit would grow larger and for a longer period of time. I think. We contemplated planting a peach tree on our side of the fence, but that didn't really work out in the grand scheme/our backyard master plans.

Spring is typically the best time to plant so we went to Wabash Feed Store to get started. The staff there is very knowledgeable and were able to talk us through the fruit tree buying process! We landed on a Lula Avocado tree (we eat avocados like crazy around here), and two citrus trees (cross pollination, baby!). We chose Blood Orange and Page Mandarin because both grow well in the area and aren't readily available at the grocery store.

We haven't done a whole lot to them besides water them like crazy to keep them from shriveling up in this Texas heat, but we did pick up a few tips for new tree growth from online research and talking to the folks at Wabash. First, we painted the trunk of our little Lula with a watered down white latex paint. The trunk has not yet developed bark, so it has no protection against the sun. We made sure our Lula never leaves the house without sunscreen. Tree parenting.
Secondly, we pinched our blood orange! Pinching a fruit tree means you pick off the fruit it makes it's first season so it can focus on growing roots, branches and leaves instead of putting nutrients and energy into making fruit. We only had one little blood orange and no mandarins.
We are loving our little trees. Hopefully these pictures will be a reminder of how small our trees were when we planted them--not a reminder that we once thought we could grow trees. Ha! Wish us luck!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...