September 1, 2014

All The Small Things

Anyone else humming the song now? All-the, small-things. Dum-dum, dum-dum.

I am crossing my fingers that you're not tired of seeing our apartment yet. When I draft up these posts and take the pictures, I come away thinking everything is just so...beige. Making a rental sweet and homey is a process, and we are not all the way there yet.

There are some small things here that are breaking up the color-less walls, though, and helping the place feel warm while we're still making progress. So when Jenna asked me to continue a 'virtual home tour' of sorts, I thought that a tour of the small things would be a fun spin.

If you want to piece this together with the rest of our apartment, see a fuller tour here!

Entrance: Print by Naptime Diaries, frame & hook from Target.

I'm in love with this print, and I love having those words right by our front door as we go in and out. Our entrance is really just the tiniest hallway that opens right into the kitchen, but it still felt important to dress it up a bit.

Kitchen: Cookbook Stand, Crate & Barrel.

To be fair, what I really love here is that high ledge - it's just above the sink, and it separates the kitchen from the dining area. In a small kitchen, that ledge has been a huge help. It's not additional counter-space, really, but it's at a perfect height for a physical cookbook, recipes on a computer, or for miscellaneous things (like a fruit basket) that we don't want to take up space somewhere else.

And that cookbook stand? It was a wedding gift from my brother's girlfriend, and it's absolutely perfect for that corner. For two people who love good food, it's nice to always have a recipe book open...and plus, it makes us look more legit when we have friends over ;)

Dining Room: Platter, handmade.

I've told you how talented my in-laws are, right? Steve's parents have both done pottery for years, and they made this platter for us as a shower gift. I was floored when I opened it, and I still think it's absolutely stunning. This platter is too pretty for just about anything, so we have it at the center of our hand-me-down dining room table.

 Bedroom: Nightstand Shelf, Threshold by Target

As newlyweds, most of our furniture is pieced together from here and there - except for our bedroom furniture. My mom was in the High Point Furniture Market circle for years, and she found this bedroom suite for me long before I even went to college. The set is all black, with classic & clean lines. It was never college furniture, but it's been in a few different houses with me once I moved to Charlotte. And for Steve & I together? It's perfect.

The only problem, though, is that the set had just one nightstand. So? We got a little creative. In less than twenty minutes, we installed this $20 shelf at nightstand-level on the blank side of the bed...and I loved the result! The shelf is just enough space to hold a phone and a book, and it takes up significantly less space than a full nightstand would. It's probably my "most proud" of the apartment right now ;)

Those are my 'small things' for now, but I know there will be more to come! What makes a new space feels homey to you?


This post was part of a home-tour - see Jenna's tour from last week here

August 29, 2014

What I Learned From Planning a Wedding

Happy Friday, friends!

It's crazy - it feels like our wedding was a world away, but I've barely written about it here at all. I gave you a three-point recap when we got back from our honeymoon, and I told you about how married life has been so far, but other than that I haven't said much at all - I've just launched back into normal life.

Honestly, though? I haven't felt particularly excited to write about it. Writing about the wedding feels like I'm living in that day, and I'm loving the 'now' so much that I'd much rather tell you about this. And besides? The internet (or at least the woman-focused side of it) feels a little over-saturated with weddings. If you wanted to learn how to DIY your escort cards, how to do centerpieces for less, or how to find your dream dress...well, there are about five thousand places that you could look. I am far from the expert, and putting in my two-cents hasn't felt worth it.


We had a really, really sweet wedding day. And even though it feels like it was forever ago, I know it will only feel further away in six months, a year, and ten years! If there was ever a time to write just a few posts about our wedding - the ins and outs - well, it's now.

So. Ahem. Here we go.

I'm planning to split this into a few different posts over the next month or two. I'll choose topics for the first posts on my own, and then I'll let the last one be an FAQ - so ask questions along the way! I know my cousin wanted a post about what we registered for so I'll let that be the first "Q," but anything is on the table :)

Today,  I'm just going to keep it general and share some about what we learned. What I learned. Good? Good.

1. First? I learned that trendy and classic can both be gorgeous. Let me tell you - the wedding we ended up with is not at all like the vision that started out in my head! In this pinterest-y world of mason jars and glitter, (disclaimer: we did use mason jars) I thought we would have a day filled with bright colors and flowers, little tea lights everywhere, and that it would all have a garden-y, backyard feel. I wanted it to feel light and airy and romantic. You know what I realized, though? All of those pictures in my head were beautifully trendy and different and DIY, but it was a thousand times easier to make choices that were a little more classic. For example, white and blue hydrangeas are simpler and less expensive - but just as gorgeous - as the mix of citrus colors that was in my head.

We did some things that were definitely un-traditional in our wedding, but I think we also had a fairly classic style that was simple, but us...and still a little garden-y!

2. The shoes don't matter. My best friend told me this, and it's absolutely true. I picked a pair that wouldn't make me look short next to my bridesmaids (who are mostly 5'7", and all wore heels), but that would be comfy to dance in. Those things are important, but otherwise? No one really sees them.

3. Organization is super important. So is budgeting.  It's really annoying, but really necessary.

4. Utilize the talented people in your life. This was huge for us! There are so many things that we would not have had the time or money for if it weren't for the people helped us out. Examples? Our good friend Anna is incredibly organized and ended up being our day-of director. She's since launched her own business doing just that! My former roommate, Laura? She does the most gorgeous watercolors, and she hand-painted all of our table numbers as a wedding gift. Steve's parents hand-made the communion cup and plate that we used in our ceremony, and all of the musicians that played were good friends or family members. It helped our budget to have people gift us with their time and energy, but it also made everything that much more personal and special.

5. Yes, Virginia... good bridesmaids dresses do exist. I have to throw this one in, you guys. My sweet friends wore dresses that were from Ann Taylor Loft, had pockets, and were the most stunning shade of blue. They all looked gorgeous. It might sound a tiny bit like I'm proud of myself for this...but I just really, really liked those dresses.

6. Videography is worth it.  I didn't think that we would want or need it and we didn't have room in our budget for a high-end production, but we had several friends gently encourage us to consider booking a videographer. We ended up hiring Drew from Dockhouse Digital to capture the day, and I was so glad - he did a phenomenal job! Everyone says that a video picks up things that you can't get in just photographs, and they're absolutely right.

7. Splurging on photography? Also worth it. I could go on for days about how much we loved our photographers and love our pictures. We knew from the beginning that photography was one of the things that was worth spending the money on...and we were right! AJ and Kyle Dunlap were absolutely phenomenal, and their pictures have been such a gift.

8. Last thing? As far as the wedding goes... you just can't take it too seriously. I know, I know - let me explain before you all pass out in your chairs. The marriage? I took that very seriously. Steve and I put a lot of thought and prayer into it before he ever proposed, and we knew that we were making a life-long decision.  The wedding, though? After a few months of planning, I realized that it was only a day.  Once I realized that we didn't have to have a picture-perfect wedding to have a great marriage, everything became way more fun and I felt like my focus was in the right place.

So that's it! Eight things, which feels like a great place to stop.  What do you think - agree or disagree with any of these? And friends that are engaged, married, or...have ever attended a wedding - what have you learned?


PS - Really, let me know if there's anything you'd like to see in this little series of wedding posts! It's a short window, friends, but anything is on the table. Also: all images in this post are by AJ Dunlap Photography.
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