Monday, February 28, 2011

monday, monday

This morning it was pouring when I pulled myself out of bed at ten 'til eight and almost hot outside. Weird. Now it's still sprinkling and the temperature has dropped from 70 to 40. Yuck. 
My eyes are killing me and my head is pounding. Hmmmm... Possibly due to the crazy weather?? Maybe. I've also developed ocular migraines in the last 6 months or so (As diagnosed by my opthamologist)- not fun at all, for anyone that's never experienced one- hopefully one isn't coming on. 

It's been a Monday. I usually don't mind Mondays, but today has just been blah. I got four measly hours of sleep last night due to my choice to drink Starbucks at 5:00 p.m. yesterday. What was I thinking?? I was wired until 3 a.m. Sheesh! NO coffee after lunch again for this little girl. 

I played around (during a short break from residency work) with calligraphy styles/techniques for our invitations. I did a friends' invitations a few years back and enjoyed the process. 
I taught myself- basically enough to get hers done- and am definitely a little rusty. My little doodle break motivated me to re-learn and get to practicing! 

Here's a peek at some of my inspiration... Though I don't know if I could actually pull anything off that looks this good!

I love a modern take on calligraphy! I'll share my quest at calligraphy as I try and try again. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

nashville weekends

Have I mentioned how much I love Nashville? It's the perfect size city... Big enough there is always something to do but not too big. I've been here for almost 3 years and CSB has been here for almost 12 and I foresee being here for many years to come. 

Our weekend was fun-filled and quite spontaneous. Here's a little recap: 

On Friday night we double-dated with some of our married friends to see Tom Green(e?) at a comedy club a stone's throw from the townhouse. Definitely fun but Tom didn't really impress me. We came home and played cards into the wee hours of the night until midnight. So much fun!

On Saturday we ran some errands and were pretty lazy. Paisley pup and I spent a good bit of time playing outside along with one of the neighbors and her sweet pup and another neighbor and her toddling boys. It was so beautiful here! On Saturday afternoon we headed to a sports bar to watch a little UK basketball with some of CSB's friends from out of town. On Saturday evening we made a very last minute decision to go to the Brad Paisely/Darrius Rucker concert. As in, the concert started at 7:30 and we decided to go at 7:25. I love being 5 minutes from downtown! We CSB scalped tickets and they ended up being less than face value- take that, scalpers! Our seats were pretty dang good, too. Darrius was great- he broke out some of his songs from Hootie days, which I loved. Brad was good too but there was way more "production" to his show than I like (Think: Weird/cheesy cartoons playing on the big screen). Still a great time! 

Today has been a great, relaxing day. We went to a local fundraising even for Our Kids and then took the pup to the park. She love, love, loves the dog park. I still have mixed feelings... It's nice, because she gets great exercise but she always comes home in major need of a bath. Today was no exception as she decided to stick her entire head under the water faucet and then roll around with all her new pup friends in the dirt. Thanks, Paise. 

{I had to sneak in a picture of two of the pup...}

The fiance made dinner tonight (I am so spoiled... He's such a great cook). We followed up dinner with homemade s'mores (Wedding diet starts tomorrow, officially) and glasses of milk. 

Now a still-damp Paisley is curled up beside me on the couch and we are watching the Oscars. Does anyone else love Anne Hathaway as much as I? She looks stunning tonight- I love the white dress she donned for the beginning of the show. Camilla Alves (Matthew McConaughey's wife) looked amazing, too, and thus far her dress was my favorite! 

Friday, February 25, 2011

topped off.

I am inspired this afternoon by some beautiful bridesmaid dress alternatives I've spotted lately- especially looks involving cardigans.  This wedding, featured on Style Me Pretty today, really caught my eye! 

The bright, pattern skirts are adorable with the ruffled cardigans... I am such a fan of cardigans, especially ones with ruffles or other fun features (just check my closet!). And I feel like all of the components of the outfit are wear-again-worthy. 

Ah, the cardigans layered atop the dresses. And the chunky necklaces. All very wear-again-worthy, yes? 

Again, the cardigans.  I love the patterned ones atop the navy dresses. And the different belts the bridesmaids are wearing! Perfect for a cool October evening? I think yes. 

Happy Friday! Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

save the date candidate

From day one I pictured designing my own paper goods for my wedding, especially, for whatever reason, save the dates. I've played around with several versions on my computer but haven't attempted the printing process yet. I am beginning to feel a little computer un-savvy as I don't know which programs to use for design/editing/etc... Digital design has been a little overwhelming! 
So, I went with what I knew and came up with something completely from scratch, no computer involved.

It's a rough version as my text isn't exactly how I'd like it and it's a little crooked. And the lighting was terrible when I was taking the picture (with my iPhone). Overall, I was pleased with the result and motivated to come up with a few more! I've got a few things school-wise on my to do list above making save the dates, unfortunately, but I hope to have a little time this weekend. 

Here's a preview of one of the many I've designed digitally... It looks blurry/distorted but I have no idea how to fix it. And I am not loving the shade of green... BUT I cannot get the others to import...
UGH. Again, very computer un-savvy. 

Any suggestions about design programs for Mac?? Or DIY invites/STDs? I love the idea of the handmade mason jar invite but I would like to use computer text as opposed to my handwriting... Heck if I could figure out how to do it, though!

*Side note: I realize you can't see the image above but I have NO CLUE how to fix it. UGH. I promise, tomorrow's post will not laced with such frustration. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

learning to sew.

Ever since spotting one over on Joon's blog a while back (I don't know the exact post...) I've been dreaming of burlap table runners. Complete with ruffles. 

Then, I started wedding planning and immediately knew I wanted to incorporate burlap. I love the look of burlap layered on top of navy tablecloths. 

So, I've decided to go with navy blue tablecloths topped with burlap runners (with ruffles!) for the guest tables. My mom and I started experimenting with burlap runners this weekend. My mom and I took off and starting sewing and gathering away. I sat right by her side and watched. I've never really used a sewing machine, though I've always wanted to learn. While my mom was at work today I decided I'd do just that. I broke out her hundred year old manual and got to figuring it out. After a couple hours and youtube tutorials later {this blog was key in my success} I came out with this little guy: 

Not too shabby, right? It's definitely rough- but also my first real sewing attempt. My mom was pretty much in disbelief when she came home. And, I officially love sewing! My mom offered to let me take her sewing machine home with me for a while. As much as I'd like to I know it would just be a distraction for me right now. I will be taking her up on her offer post completion of residency, NBCOT prep/exam, and graduation, however. 

Hers definitely turned out better: 

And our cute little baby-momma set (we're a little silly...):

I cannot wait to sew more in the future! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011


My mom, wonderful wedding planner, and I made some major wedding-planning progress this weekend. Mom ventured to Nashville around lunch on Friday and we were immediately off and running. 
First stop: Dress purchasing! She is officially ordered. (!!!) But there's no way she's being revealed (except to close friends and family, of course) until the big day. I am so excited. Next stop: Lunch, naturally. We opted for our new favorite (discovered on mom's last trip to Nash salad) steak at a local favorite. And a little glass of celebratory vino. Then off to Green Hills for some wandering. 
We didn't get in too much trouble... I did find some really cute staples at Banana on sale. And a dress my mom insisted I needed for our honeymoon. {Have I mentioned we don't even know where we are going yet?}

And I did some wedding shoe wishing... 


I think I am going to wear heels for the ceremony... And change into boots at the reception? But it is an outdoor wedding so I looked at these too, just in case. 

Our productivity continued Saturday morning, bright and early. We met my wedding planner at the venue and did a walk through making notes and taking pictures. And then debriefed at Starbucks. We continued on to a local store where I priced invites (they basically wanted my first born child...). Sheesh! Paper is expensive. And I asked- it wasn't laced with gold.
The envelopes didn't seal or address themselves. 
Our afternoon consisted of several hours wandering through a fabric store followed by a run to JoAnnes. 
Our evening was topped off by a wonderful dinner with the fiance.
I hope to have some DIYs to show this week... I am at my mom's for a few days and a Hobby Lobby run is first on my to do list in the morning. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

clutch. (edited)

Well, clutches. 

{I know my last few posts have veered away from wedding-planning... My planning has slowed as I have been busier with my last semester ever of school. Just a little less than 3 months from now and I will be done. FOREVER. I cannot wait to add those three little letters to the end of my name: OTD. And then comes a big-girl job, which, call me crazy, I cannot wait to have! Everyone says I will miss college/grad school but I am ready. As long as some pediatric jobs open in Nashville between now and then? A whole other post...}

And I digress from the topic... Clutches! I was inspired by a great giveaway posted HERE today. How cute is that clutch? It's another giveaway that if I don't win, I might be purchasing anyway! If you love it, head HERE to enter. 

It's adorable. 

Which got me thinking... I've seen a lot of really cute clutches lately on Etsy. I really, really wish I (legitimately) knew how to sew. I found a pattern that looks easy... But the whole "operating a sewing machine" part is holding me back. Sigh. So, until I learn how to work one, ordering from Etsy sellers will have to do! I don't want to give too much away, because I know a few bridesmaids browse my blog every now and again... But I have found some really, really cute items that might just make their way into bridesmaid gift bags.

Here are some other clutches that have caught my eye lately: 

So. cute. {Seller: a03designs}

{Same seller: a03designs}

This one is also adorable for spring. Jeans, white t-shirt, flip flops and this guy: 

{Same seller's website}

I also love this: 

{By the same seller of the giveaway mentioned at beginning of blog. You can find it HERE}

I could honestly keep going but have a pile of work waiting on me! 
Happy Thursday! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

kentucky love... in the form of cupcakes

The fiance is a Kentucky-bred lad and came into my life with a love for all things Kentucky: Horse racing, UK basketball, and, of of course, bourbon. Since we began dating I've been introduced to Keeneland (so much fun!), the Derby, and cooking with bourbon (yum!). Hence the Kentucky Bourbon Pie cupcakes I made for V-day.

A few weeks ago we splurged and took a trip over to Gigi's cupcakes... Delicious! We ended up skipping dinner and snacking instead on the two (huge!) cupcakes we purchased. One of them was a Kentucky Bourbon Pie... CSB, knowing my love for baking, insisted I should try and make something similar. {Perfect suggestion a few days before Valentine's!} So I took on the endeavor a few days later.... I experimented a little, as I found a couple of recipes for the cupcakes.

Rendition #1 was derived from a recipe found here. 

Here's my rendition of the recipe: 

2 boxes jiffy pie mix (I've never used this before but it was really easy to work with)
1 box butter cake mix
1/2 cup + a splash KY bourbon
Pecans... A cup or 2? I forgot to measure. 
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 cup butterscotch chips
Bourbon Cream Cheese Icing (recipe listed below)

Prepare pie mix as directed and place in refrigerator while preparing the cupcakes. Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box. After mixing add the bourbon and mix. Remove the pie mix from the fridge and roll out until it is approximately 1/4 inch (or a bit thinner!) and cut out approximately 5 inch circles (I used a beer glass I found under the cabinet). Grease a muffin tin and press circles into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin. Place approximately 1 tsp. (I didn't measure, just covered the bottom) pecans on top of the pie crust followed by approximately 1 tsp.  chocolate chips and 1 tsp. butterscotch chips. Spoon or pour cake mix on top, filling just over 2/3 full. I didn't quite fill my enough... I recommend pretty close to the top of the pie filling- but do remember the pie filling will expand while baking! Top with bourbon cream cheese icing when cool and serve on your cutest cake or cupcake stand!
Recommendations: Roll out dough, as I said, really thin. My pie crust turned out a little thicker than I hoped. Fill cupcakes 2/3 plus some as to make sure they rise above pie crust. 
These turned out really yummy. They are definitely different from a traditional cupcake... I wish the pie crust had been a bit thinner as it almost took away from the cupcake. And I don't think I filled mine quite full enough with batter. 

Here's a picture of the middle, it gives you an idea of how much of the pecan/choc/butterscotch chip mixture I put in the bottom. 

Here's the second rendition of the recipe, the one CSB gave the higher rating: 

This recipe was very simple. Mix cake mix as directed above with addition of bourbon. Pour into cupcake liner until about half-full. (I used these instead of a muffin tin and they worked really well- as long as you don't over fill them. My grandmother gave them to me awhile back and I have just had the chance to use them!) Drop pecans, chocolate chips, and butterscotch chips into mix (Again, I didn't measure, but added generously!). Top with more mix. 
The only problem with these was that all of the goodies dropped to the bottom. It tasted great this way but several separated when I took them out of the wrappers (as in, all the goodies stuck to the bottom and the cake part came off). Most of them were fine, though! My though to fix this is to allow cupcakes to bake for a couple of minutes before adding ingredients? If someone has a suggestion, let me know. This could also be made with chocolate cake mix, depending on your taste buds. After cupcakes cool, top with bourbon cream cheese icing. 
These cupcakes turned out really moist... And were delicious!

Now, for the icing. I love homemade icing. Buttercream, cream cheese, chocolate buttercream... Yum! I made a basic cream cheese icing: 
1 stick butter, unsalted (room temperature)
1 8 oz. block cream cheese (room temperature)
Approximately 4 cups sifted powdered sugar 
1/4-1/2 cup bourbon, depending on your taste

 Biggest piece of advice: Start with cream cheese and butter at room temperature, otherwise you will end up with lumps and bumps. If you mix it long enough you can usually work them out but it just adds to the time it takes to prepare. 
Mix butter and sugar on medium-ish speed with electric mixer. Add bourbon and mix. Gradually add powdered sugar and continue to mix. Final result should be slightly stiff/thick icing. Add more or less powdered sugar as needed. 
To ice the cupcakes I use a piping bag and cupcake tip (which is basically a larger tip). I drop it into a bag without a coupler. 

I recommend using a bigger bag... I need to purchase some new (obviously... red/pink/black icing have tinged mine over the years!)/bigger ones but used this one yesterday because it is all I have: 

Here's the cupcake tip: 

 Cupcake tip pictured beside typical decorating tip to give you an idea of size difference: 

Drop tip into bag. Depending on how the bag is trimmed the tip should either be just even with edges or stick out just beyond bag: 

Start on the outside edge of the cupcake and make gradually smaller circles as you approach the middle (I hope this makes sense). Pull up a bit and then let go once you get to the middle. 

Enjoy! Let me know if you try the recipe or have any suggestions to make it better. 

puppy love

My Monday {aka Valentine's Day} started out quite interesting... 

I went out to crank my car and nothing. It wouldn't start and lots of dashboard lights started flashing at me. Great. It was 9:45 and I was supposed to be at a graduation meeting at 10:00. I live close enough to walk, but by the time I got there I would have been late. 
I called CSB as I was heading back into the house and he, in a hushed I'm-in-a-meeting voice, said he would call me back. I started to open the back door and realized I didn't have my house key.
Great, again. {I'd taken it off over the weekend and lent it to friends who were in town. And obviously forgot to put it back on my keychain.} I settled into a chair on the back patio and pulled out my laptop to get a little work done, thankful for a beautiful sunshiny morning. 

CSB called me soon after and walked me through a little breaking and entering. I left Paisley on the back patio while I ran upstairs to grab something and came back to this: 

In case you can't tell, Paisley pup decided to dig up the only spot of dirt not covered by pavers on the back patio. I was not amused, hence the first picture in the post. Paisley got to wear the "bad dog" sign for the first {and second- when she decided to place her little paws on the table in attempt to sample the brie before dinner} time yesterday. I don't know if she got the message, though, because she was so dang cute I kept taking pictures.
{Back story on the sign: Growing up, we had the best dog ever. When she chewed anything up my dad's punishment was to tie whatever she chewed up around her neck.
She chewed up ONE SHOE. EVER.}
Since I couldn't tie dirt around Paise's neck I made the sign. 

My day continued... CSB picked me up and we had a delicious {free} lunch at Mere Bulles, one our favorite restaurants. We are trying to figure out where to host our rehearsal dinner and it's top on our list. Lunch was wonderful, as always. 
I could live on their she crab soup! 

The rest of my day was pretty uneventful. I experimented with a new cupcake recipe inspired by Gigi's: Kentucky Bourbon Pie. Mine were quite different from the one we had from Gigi's but CSB swears they were better. 

This was the prettier one: 

But this was the tastier one: 

I suprised CSB with dinner last night and we enjoyed a nice, quiet meal at the house and watched the movie Valentine's Day {Cheesy, but I love it... Though I could live without T. Swift's character}. We started out with fresh brie and crackers followed by a salad. For the main course we had goat cheese stuffed chicken {courtesy of fresh market... my time definitely went into dessert!} and roasted potatoes. Then dessert... Which in addition to the cupcakes consisted of chocolate covered strawberries {CSB's favorite}. 

I also gave CSB a Valentine's card: 
 I took if off quickly as to not confuse her since earlier in the day her punishment was to wear the "bad dog" sign... 

Just a few more of the cutest bad dog I know: 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Suprise (A Few Days Early)

fThe fiance called me around lunch time today, just as I was leaving the coffee shop from a morning chock-full of work, and told me he was giving me my Valentine's present. What? I honestly thought he was foregoing the holiday this year. And today is the 11th. Last time I checked Valentine's Day falls on the 14th every year. He informed me it was in his car and he couldn't really wait until Monday to give it to me. 
{CSB is notorious for not being able to keep things a suprise or wait to give gifts. He gets too excited and has to just give things to me as soon as he gets them. It's adorable. I am still shocked my engagement ring was in his possession for an entire 24 hours.}

He took me outside to his car and made me close my eyes... I kept asking if he got Paisley a sister puppy! I opened my eyes to see these sweet girls in the back of his SUV:

Ahh! I was so excited! And suprised! Sean took on the dauntingly scary task of teaching me to play golf last summer. I grew up in a golf course neighborhood and have never played a full round of golf. A little embarrassing... I've really wanted to learn and CSB has been a great teacher! I was getting to the point that CSB's oversized clubs weren't really cutting it and have been talking about getting some clubs of my own. I cannot wait for the 50 degree weather promised for Sunday- off to the golf course we go! 

Here are some bad iPhone pictures of the new hair... I had patches of zit creme on right side of my face- hence me purposefully holding my phone in front of my face {and excuse the awkward look on my face in the first picture... apparently i was really focused}. I know it's nothing drastic, but for me it was big!

Happy Friday!