Monday, February 27, 2017

wedding invitation tips and tricks

I am really excited about this post because I have scoured the depths of the internet every step of the way in wedding planning, and have put everything I learned about invitations all in one place - this post! I love paper goods and invitations so I spent a lot of time picking them out and assembling them throughout the planning process, hopefully these tips and tricks will help you too.


invisible ink RSVP card numbering
sometimes people forget, or don't know, to put their full names and guest's name on the RSVP card. this is especially troubling if they don't put a return address on the envelope (or the envelope gets discarded) and they are family members. mr. and mrs. smith could be any one of your relatives with the same family last name. problem solved: before mailing your invitations, make sure you have a google docs spreadsheet with each guest numbered. on the back of each RSVP card, use an invisible ink marker to write the corresponding number. hopefully you won't have any issues with RSVP names, but if you do, you are completely set since you know exactly who the return card belongs to! also... I've decided it's impossible to photograph invisible ink, but you can see below where I put the little numbers on the back and how the blacklight in the pen works. buy the pen here on amazon.


hand canceling at the post office
everyone knows the USPS is not my favorite topic, but that is a story for another day. you've spent so much time and effort on your wedding invitations - so why would you let the USPS run them through their automated canceling machine, potentially ripping your invites up and placing huge ink marks all over the envelope? do yourself a favor and bring your invitations to the USPS and ask them about hand canceling. my USPS let me do it myself, which is preferable. I've heard of some postal offices charging for this service, but I would suggest doing it yourself if possible.


excuse the iphone pictures - top picture shows you what the hand cancel stamp looks like. bottom picture shows you what the envelope looks like when you're done canceling the postage. basically you have to stamp each stamp (haha!) so that it can't be used again. still not particularly beautiful, but way better than machine-canceled.



this is what a machine canceled envelope looks like. the picture doesn't look bad, but imagine if that ink were in the middle of your pretty stamps, or even on the calligraphy? some brides may not care, but machine canceling is also very rough on thicker letters such as invitations and may rip the envelope.

enclosure cards
we made two enclosure cards: a babysitter card and a map of our wedding location. etiquette says there are a few things that should not be printed on your invitation. for instance, your registry information. also, "no kids" should be tactfully delivered. we opted for separate enclosure cards that were only mailed to those guests with children. we used our stationery maker for the babysitter cards, but I highly recommend zazzle.com for printed items such as enclosure cards and programs to complement your invitation suite. if you love our map, check out snappymap.com and contact debbie - she was great to work with. once our wedding is over, I'll post all of our invitation information and a better picture of the map.


vintage stamps
if you want to add an extra special touch to your invitations, check out my post on vintage stamps here.



alright, there you have it, my best tips and tricks on wedding invitations! invitations were one of the first things that I picked out during our wedding planning, which I don't think is necessarily normal but it was definitely something that I enjoyed. if you've been married, did you discover any tips on your own that I missed? if you are a bride-to-be, best wishes and happy mailing! 

Friday, February 24, 2017

grilled glazed carrots

there have been a couple times that a perfectly-cooked carrot has totally rocked my world. if you haven't experienced this before, you should just trust me. the first time, was a five course meal at the altitude restaurant in shangri-la hotel in sydney, australia. one of the courses was carrots and I remember thinking "hmmmm." then, of course, they were absolutely the best thing I had ever eaten. recently, on our valentine's dinner date, I ordered salmon with a side of roasted vegetables. there were only two carrots in the mix, but again, the flavorful carrot romanced me.

does anyone else find carrots to be beautiful? when I pass them in the grocery store, with their huge green leaves and bright orange stalks - I always have an urge to buy them. I finally found a reason, or a recipe rather, to buy them! stephen was firing up the grill for a filet mignon and I decided to have carrots and broccoli, which turned out to be the perfect "spring is coming" dinner.

Monday, February 20, 2017

a word on vintage postage

somehow during wedding planning, I stumbled upon the most beautiful images of themed vintage stamps for invitations. I was obsessed and honestly, the first thing I did when we got engaged, was buy vintage stamps on etsy. I told myself that if the usps had ever released seashell stamps, it was a sign and I had to do it. sure enough, seashell postage was released in 1985 and then next thing I knew - I had to have the white crane, the alligator, and a floral love stamp for good measure.



Friday, February 17, 2017

a rare friday five

I haven't done a weekly reading in ages and I wanted to bring you guys up to speed with what I've been up to lately - so here I am doing a friday five, which I've never done before. happy friday everyone, here's what I've been up to these days!

image via cyclebar

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

what I read in january

I am a huge fan of jodi picoult, I've read a lot of her books over the years so I was super excited to find out that she had a new book recently released. then when I learned it was about race, I was nervous. I just didn't know what to expect, not to mention, I finished the book just before martin luther king day and it's just such a relevant topic lately. it also lead me to google quotes by MLK and now I'm even more in awe. one of my favorites is, "in the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." I've also been watching the people vs. oj simpson and they talk about bringing up race in the courtroom, which was a topic of this book as well. quite interesting. and now - onward with the book review... linking up with steph and jana, thanks for hosting ladies!



small great things by jodi picoult
ruth is a labor and delivery nurse with more than twenty years’ experience. during her shift, ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. the parents are white supremacists and don’t want ruth, who is african american, to touch their child. the hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while ruth is alone in the nursery. does she obey orders or does she intervene? ruth hesitates before performing cpr and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. kennedy, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. conflicted by kennedy’s counsel, ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. as the trial moves forward, ruth and kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong. {amazon.com}

my take: A
where to start... first, I have always been a fan of picoult. she takes popular and difficult topics, while writing in an approachable and non-intimidating fashion. I'll admit, sometimes pieces feel slightly cheesy but it works. the topic is race is so sensitive, in my opinion. this book and picoult's author's notes at the end of the book add up to a meaningful tackling of the topic. I enjoyed the book, but really felt most moved by her author's notes which explain the research that she did prior to writing the book and her desire to cover such an intense and warranted subject matter. hats off to picoult, in my opinion.

have you read small great things yet? are you a picoult fan? thanks for stopping by, I look forward to seeing what you've read this month!

Friday, February 10, 2017

chocolate shadow cake

we usually celebrate birthdays at my parents' house with dinner and cake and presents, and lots of champagne. my sister has a january birthday and this year, I offered to make the birthday cake. my sister has actually made a few of my birthday cakes over the years and I thought it would help alleviate some of the cooking my mom had on her plate [see what I did there] if I made the cake.

when my sister told me she wanted chocolate cake with white frosting, I'll admit I did not have a standby recipe on hand already. I did lots of research and fell in love with this gorgeous chocolate shadow cake. I was pretty impressed with how it turned out in comparison to the photos... no pinterest fail here, people!



Tuesday, February 7, 2017

super bowl LI tablescape

to be honest, I don't really want to talk about the super bowl. for obvious reasons. but I can't miss the chance to talk about my super bowl sunday tablescape, so I am begrudgingly writing this post while still nursing a broken heart.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

how to make a spirited football field table runner

I'll be the first one to tell you that I'm not that into the NFL, but when I realized my atlanta team was close to playing in the super bowl - I was suddenly a huge fan. call it bandwagon, call it hometown pride, whatever you want! the next thing I knew, we were having guests over for the big game and I wanted a football field table runner. I saw some cute paper ones that were actually pretty pricey and I figured that making my own would be cuter and lower cost.

I had a vision and started at home depot. home depot, like the usps, is a place that usually makes me feel quite dumb and intimidated. I don't know about the majority of their products and am sure they carry a ton of products that I could really use, but I just never feel comfortable browsing the aisles because I don't know what to look for. I'm also certain it takes me like five times the amount of necessary time to walk to walk out the door with what I need. this time, I knew I was looking for astroturf. I made my way to the huge reams of flooring options and decided on a nice grassy choice. luckily, I struck up a conversation with another customer who was much more familiar with NFL games and advised me to go with a different astroturf option. his recommendation was cheaper, looked cheaper, and was absolutely the right choice since it best resembled a pro football field. when you go to your local home depot, just pick the cheapest astroturf and you'll get the right one! 



Friday, February 3, 2017

valentine's table // two ways

I don't normally do too much for valentine's day around the house but I recently repurposed some antique gold candlesticks that I was so inspired by, I just had to do something to bring them out for their debut. over the past few months, I've been gathering random brass candlesticks from goodwill and I finally found enough to spray paint and use for a tablescape. speaking of tablescapes, there are still so many pieces that I'm waiting [not so patiently] to receive from our wedding registry such as napkins and new silverware, but I still wanted to have fun with what I have now. so I decided to put together a table for two and a galentine's brunch table. it's worth noting that I recently got my wisdom teeth removed so I found myself with a little bit of extra time around the house, in between resting and taking pain pills, and setting the table sounded like fun... it's not like I actually got to eat anything though.

a valentine's table for two makes total sense for a romantic dinner at home; however, it also makes total sense when your home is in shambles and you need to hide the other half of the dining table. we recently had a small leak in our kitchen ceiling [don't get me started] and there's a huge ladder in our kitchen along with some drywall and other not-so-beautiful items. it has actually been quite an eventful last few days in our home... so a table for two it is! 

Monday, January 30, 2017

the southern scents of bon vivant

if you're like me, you love most southern things including the sayings of the south - you know, for instance "bless your heart." so naturally, I fell in love with the new line of southern bon vivant candles with the most southern sayings and sweet southern scents to match such as gardenia, magnolia, peach, and pear. I tried bless your heart and love to all y'all, and loved them! 

I placed love to all y'all in my guest bathroom when we had company over and it definitely drew some attention. my friends loved that the candles are from macon, georgia. you can read more about the candles here, be sure to check out all the scents including some of my faves such as I do declare and do go on.

 
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