Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fire Extinguisher

Lately we have been busy trying to get a few last minute projects done to the house before our housewarming. In fact last weekend we were looking to being done with projects for awhile because we are a little burnt out. However our oven had a different idea. Instead the coil inside short circuited and caught on fire. We used our fire extinguisher to try to put it out which in turn covered our entire house in sodium bicarbonate, essentially dust. So needless to say we spent the weekend instead of enjoying the fruits of our labor cleaning every room from the cieling to the floor.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Congrats to my sissy for getting married last weekend!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Honeymoon Part 3

On our final day of our honeymoon we spent the morning shopping and walking around downtown Asheville. Then we had to hit the road to make our way home but we decided to take our sweet time.

The first stop on our road trip home was Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Lake Junaluska is where Andy and I started dating 9 years ago while on a youth group retreat. We didn't plan to stop here but on our way to Asheville we realized that we were going to drive right past it. So it was a must to hit it up on the way home.

In an attempt to procrastinate and not go home we drove slightly out of our way to Knoxville, TN. We stopped there since neither of us had ever been and it was around dinner time. We figured downtown Knoxville would have something better than a highway exit McDonald's or Wendy's. In addition we got to go up inside a huge gold looking disco ball that was built for the World Fair. It wasn't the highlight of our trip but we had fun with the highway diversion.

All in all it was a fabulous honeymoon. We got to spend some wonderful quality time together and see some beautiful and interesting places.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Biltmore: Asheville Honeymoon Part 2

One of the major attractions for going to Asheville for our honeymoon was the Biltmore. We had heard it was beautiful and have a few friends who enjoy going back regularly. We spent 2 days at the Biltomore touring the house, walking through the gardens, and enjoying the winery. We highly suggest taking the rooftop tour, doing the audio house tour, and skipping the free wine tasting in lieu of paying for a wine flight at the wine bar. The Biltmore was gorgeous and we are looking forward to going again sometime in the future.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Asheville Honeymoon Part 1

So this post is WAY over due but here are the honeymoon pictures finally! Our Asheville trip was fabulous, we ate and drank our way through the trip. It was wonderful!

Andy ready to go and driving away from our home

We stayed at the Applewood Manor in the historic district near downtown. We loved it because we were really taken care of: breakfast in our robes, wine and cheese in the afternoon and any request met. We were a short walk to downtown but also had our privacy on a quiet street with other bed and breakfasts.

Our first night there we found our favorite spot, Battery Park, a used book store/champagne and wine bar. We sat amidst the leather couches and old books, sipping champagne and eating caviar. It was fancy schmancy honeymoon heaven all the way.

Asheville was the perfect mix and location for us. We went on excursions during the day or walked around the artsy town checking out shops. At night we were able to enjoy the privacy of our bed and breakfast, the nightlife downtown eating out and having drinks at bars.

Yummy lobster dinner at where else than the Lobster Trap.

On our way out to enjoy the nightlife.

Coming next Part 2: The Biltmore.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New Directions

I have realized that lately I haven't been keeping up with the blog as much as I have in the past. Some of this is due to not much going on but mainly because my life is transitioning away from the wedding world. I am definitely going to continue to post the recap of our wedding now that we will be getting the professional pictures. I will also blog about Tiffany's wedding and other wedding ideas since I know I won't ever be able to stop looking at wedding magazines or blogs. But my life no longer revolves around weddings so I am going to also be blogging about other things to, our house projects and life in general. I didn't want to drop the blog completely and in order to have something to post I need the blog to transition with me.

I hope everyone will continue to read along with me!


I finally have added in Tiffany's shower photos and a few others to older posts that I had been promising pictures for. I am such a slacker when it comes to loading the pictures from my camera to the computer.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Our wedding pictures are in!!!!!! I got the email last night and stayed up late into the night just to take a peek at them. From the quick look we have taken we already love them and I can promise I am going to be staring at them for a good portion of my day :) Especially considering we ended up with 1099, yep that's not an error there are over one thousand pictures from the wedding. Once I get the digital negatives I will begin posting them for all of you to see!

Until then you can go here: http://www.ciullaphotography.com/blog/vanessaandymarried/
to see some of the pictures on our wonderful photographer's blog.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Post office lessons

When making your own invitations be very careful to make everything according to post office regulations. My sister chose to DIY her invitations after my success with the same project. Somehow in the process her rsvp postcards ended up 3x5 instead of 3.5x5. Well the post office has delivered the postcards but has also decided that since they aren't exact that they are going to charge her 78 cents more per card that she recieves. I don't know how exactly they will enforce this, but it's not necessarily welcome news.

Secondly she did wrap around labels, used spray adhesive to adhere them to the envelopes. The post office machines damaged some of them even to the point of completely ripping them off resulting in lost invitations. Needless to say this has caused her significant headache and extra work. It's not any help now but lesson learned to make sure to double check all post office regulations and send a test invitation before mailing them all out.

Our invitation that made it safely to us!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ahhhh the agony

As of this Friday it will have been six weeks since we got married. First of all that trips me out because I can't possibly fathom that it has really been that long. Secondly we should be recieving our pictures sometime within the next week. Our photographer isn't late, she told us it would be about six weeks but I am just quite impatient.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tiffany's Shower

The shower I threw for Tiffany was this weekend. It went wonderfully, or at least I think it did. However I learned a lesson during the process: next time have it catered or enlist more help. Luckily one of Tiffany's good friend threw the shower with me so she took on some of the work but I took the brunt of the cooking items. It was my fault that I decided to do a few items that required more work but I wanted it to be classy and not just a deli platter. Needless to say the sleepless nights turned out to be completely worth it. Thankfully I only have one sister.

I wanted to share a bridal shower game with all of you that we played at her shower and my shower. I stole this game from my friend Heather when we played it at her shower. I hate, hate, hate cheesy bridal games. But I do think that it's nice to have something to do other than just sit around. We played BRIDE which is a version of bingo. We made a BRIDE card just like a bingo card but left the boxes blank. Then everyone writes items they think the bride will open in the boxes. If she opens the item then you get to mark it off and the object is to mark off an entire row. If the get BRIDE or bingo then they get to choose a prize from the basket. We did things like blank cards, to do list note pads, journals, candles, lotions and such small little items.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Slow Week

This week is a slow week in my blogging because I don't have anything new to report and other items in my life is taking precedence. My Dad is currently visiting to help us with a few house projects and I am preparing for Tiffany's shower. Starting tomorrow I am going to be cooking up a storm to get ready. Other than that we are just waiting to get our pictures. I hope everyone else's week is going well!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Official Name Change

I have officially changed my last name. For some people this isn't a big deal but to me it was huge. I have to confess that when the marriage license came I cried because it meant that I didn't have a reason to procrastinate anymore. Don't get me wrong I am thrilled to be married, it is absolutely wonderful. But I was sad, I didn't want to have to face the prospect of losing part of my name. But after the trip to the Social Security office I am happy to say they let me keep all my names and just to tack on Andy's last name. For those of you who don't remember I posted about my name change issues and you can read them all here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Dress Decisions

I have decided that before I go and get my dress cleaned I want to take it for another spin. So I have contacted our photographer and am going to do a trash the dress session. I don't necessarily want to trash it trash it but I would mind getting to run around town taking fun pictures and getting it dirty :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Non Floral Centerpiece

Today I was perusing my favorite blogs and found this picture of a nonfloral centerpiece. I love flowers but I also enjoy finding interesting and beautiful nonfloral centerpieces. Let's face it flowers can get expensive and to find creative way to do something other than just a candle is wonderful! I really like this centerpiece because it is still using plants but instead different kinds of leaves, which I find really interesting and appealing.

Picture taken from E Lucky, Photo by TM Photography, Florist: Katie Elfers

Thursday, August 6, 2009

DIY Flower Tip

Many of you know that I DIYed a bunch of items in my wedding. One being our centerpieces. I love, love, love fresh flowers but my budget couldn't handle the cost of a florist. For under 100 dollars I bought all the flowers for my centerpieces. Our vases cost 75 cents a piece and the candles were party packs bought at hobby lobby with their 40% off coupons. All in all with tax each centerpiece came in somewhere between 10-11 dollars, pretty good I would say. I will make sure to post pictures once I get them.
But anyways because they were real flowers we couldn't do them to far ahead. Meaning at 11pm the night before my wedding my sister and I rolled up our sleeves to make the centerpieces. Luckily I had numbers on my side, we only had to make 10. To be more efficient we set up an assembly line with Tiffany cutting the stems and myself arranging and finessing.

Picture of trial until the professional pictures are ready

The idea was to get the ball/dome shape of tightly packed roses. So what I did was cut a piece of ribbon for the height of the rose in the middle, the tallest. Tiffany used this ribbon as a guide for every single rose. She cut all the roses in each centerpiece the exact same using this ribbon, put them in the vase and handed them to me. Then I would start at the outside trimming all the roses and arranging them to get the dome shape. The ribbon trick allowed Tiffany to quickly cut all the roses the same height so that everything would be uniform. This also allowed her to do so with efficiency so that she finished quickly enough to be able to help me with the final finessing. The centerpieces weren't perfect but they were definitely good enough. I don't know how a real florist would feel about this method but it worked for us. Between the two of us we were able to complete them in about an hour and fifteen minutes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thanks You Cards Done!

Well about 2.5 weeks after the wedding the thank you cards are done and in the mail! I am so thrilled about this you can't even imagine. I was hoping to get them in the mail last week, however life got in the way. How people with large weddings get all their thank yous done I have no idea. I had only 50ish cards to write and that about killed me. It's not that thank yous are hard but it took awhile because I wanted to write something thoughtful on each one and not just write the same generic message each time.

At my shower I got a book about writing notes called, On a personal note: A guide to writing notes with style. This book has been extremely helpful with writing thank you cards. They have example notes, the different parts of a thank you note, helpful words and such. However the book is more than thank yous it also includes how to write sympathy notes, congratulation notes, apology notes and more. I have used it for more than just thank yous already and know it will come in handy in the future. I highly suggest at least looking at it before you start thank yous just to get started on the right track.

Monday, August 3, 2009

T's Wedding

Despite the fact that my wedding is over I seem to still be working on weddings. My sister's wedding is the focus however this go round. Today I proofed her wedding invitations at the printers. She lives out of town and wanted to use the same printer I did. However she waited until last minute so I will most likely be driving them out to her tomorrow.

I also did a mock up flower arrangement for her shower. And of course if you know me you know I LOVE fresh florals, so any excuse to buy flowers I jump at. I wanted to test putting sliced limes in the vase to see how well it does or does not work. I started the arrangement yesterday and put in the limes. I quickly learned that the limes will turn overnight so I definitely can't put the limes in until the morning of. However I was really happy overall with the look. I don't know if I will be making an arragement this big, I might make a bunch of smaller versions to space them out. But the look will be similar. Her wedding colors are green and brown, but her flowers will be white and green at the wedding.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bridal Shower Prep

Today I spent most of the day in the kitchen testing out recipes for Tiffany's bridal shower. She had a shower yesterday thrown by her future mother-in-law's friends. It was really nice, however a little bit more than what we are going to do. They did it country club style with waitresses, printed out menus and such. We are going to do a more laid back shower where you have to serve yourself. However I still want the food to taste good and for it to be classy, so Andy was my gastronomical guinea pig.

On the menu today were all recipe's I found on the food network website. I reworked a Lemon Tarragon recipe to make a Lemon Thyme Chicken Salad. I am stealing a phyllo cup recipe from a shrimp salad by Paula Deen to be the vehicle for our chicken salad. I tested the salad half with rosemary and half with thyme and the winner was obviously the thyme.

To go with it I made a green bean, pasta, grape salad. It is a different version of the broccoli salad but a little less picnic. To wash everything down I tried out a champagne sangria by Giada. It was good but super sweet from the mint simple syrup I made. This recipe is actually more like a mojito meets a mimosa. I am definitely going to make a big punch bowl of it but I am going to McGuyver it by doctoring it up with more orange juice (mimosa style), strawberry juice, and more champagne to cut down on the sweetness and make it serve more people.

Lastly I made 2 desserts: A lemon thyme bar and key lime tarts. Originally we were going to have both but afterwards we are definitely going with the key lime tarts only. Liz, Tiffany's friend who I am throwing the shower with, is going to make a chocolaty dessert. The lemon thyme was good but just not cutting it for me. I also didn't want two lemon thyme dishes.

While I spent all day in the kitchen it was really helpful to do a test run of everything. The changes I made to the chicken should be great. I however am going to have to practice the phyllo cups and use less butter the next time around. The green bean salad could use a little less dressing and a bit more bacon. The next go round though I will be doing it in stages and a little bit more experienced so it should not take nearly the same amount of time.

Next up to try is roasted or marinated veggies for a side dish and to find a Southern Living recipe for some quiches that I've had at another shower that are to die for.