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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Gilley Wedding

This weekend we attended the wedding of Patrick's coworker Joe.  Patrick described Joe as the ultimate groom and when we entered the reception, it was obvious why he deserved this title.



Did you see that guestbook?  The groom carved this tree out of wood and every guest chose a leaf to sign.  The leaves were on little pegs so the guest could remove the leaf from the tree, sign it on the table and then put it back on the tree.  Coolest thing ever!  I absoultely loved it.




The groom also carved all of these wooden block letters for the cake table and centerpieces.  And that my friends is why he is the groom of the year.  Everything looked spectacular. 

Oh....and they also had a photobooth - always a good time....


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekend Recap - Homeowners!

I'm back!  Did you miss me?
We had a crazy, busy weekend and guess what??  We're officially homeowners!!  Woohoo!








 See that blue sign in the background?
My sister made it for us and it might have made me tear up when we went to the house for our final walk through Friday morning.



How sweet is that??
Want one more full look at the new place?



After we finished all the paperwork, we got our keys and started MOVING!


Patrick was quite the packer...he has it perfected.



We're on our way!!

I have soooo many more pictures to share of the inside of the house.  We have most of our belongings moved and we have to be out of the apartment on Sunday so it will be another busy week.  I can't wait to show you everything we have been working on!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Spice Shelf Life



In case you haven't heard (from any of my recent blog posts) - we're MOVING!  And that means, we're PACKING!  As Patrick & I packed up the kitchen, we took the opportunity to discard expired food items from our pantry.  One item I had a really hard time rummaging through was our various spices.  We did not receive a pretty spice rack for our wedding like this beauty:


I did not register for a spice rack for 2 reasons: 
1. I did not want extra items cluttering up my counter space. 
2.  I don't really use many spices (probably because I don't really cook). 

Instead, I decided we would just purchase various spices as needed to add to our collection.  While packing for the move, I went through our basket of spices and checked all the jars for expiration dates.  When I located the date, I wrote the date on the top of the jar with a Sharpie for future reference.  I was surprised at how many spice jars did not include an expiration date.  I turned to my dear friend Google for help and found this website.  McCormick has a fresh tester that allows you to enter a code on the spice jar to find out the "Best By" date.  Pretty cool, huh?  They also provide a chart that shows the life expectancy of various spices.  That made me a happy camper.  I estimated how long we had each unknown bottle, checked the chart and wrote a date on the lid. 

How do you keep track of your spices?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Winner!

Thank you to everyone who entered my first ever giveaway.  Remember this great prize?  It now belongs to commenter #6!
 
 
 
Congratulations to the lucky winner:
 
This is beautiful! I still don't have a ring, but its never to early to start planning right? I like your hair comb/head band idea for the big day! Follower by e-mail ( I thought I already was lol). Putting it on my face book now: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5814557 . That is to my facebook page post and I will post on my blog when I post next (Friday I am thinking!). Congrats to you for so many page views!

I will be contacting you via email for your address so I can get this beauty in the mail before our big move next week. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Home Help - The Front Yard

Only 3 more days until we close on our new house!  I am so excited, I can hardly wait.  Since this is our first house, I will need lots of help turning it into a home we will cherish for years to come.  I've already asked for ideas on how to use our living room space and now I'm back for more advice.

Here is the front of our house:



Cute, right?  The problem is, I'm not sure if I'm really digging all the boxy green bushes (or the mulch in the beds - it looks like the mulch gets washed away after every good rain).  My mom recently ran into a good sale on pink Double Knock Out rose bushes. 




She scooped up several small bushes and offered a couple to me for our new house.  Of course I couldn't turn her down - look at how gorgeous these rose bushes are!

My question is - where should I plant them? 
Could I pull out some of the boxy green bushes and plant pink rose bushes? 



What do you think?  This girl could use all the help she can get so all ideas are welcome...

Monday, June 11, 2012

Weekend Recap - Prost Wedding, Pingel Reunion

Wow - what another super busy weekend.  I loved every minute of it.  We had visitors in from Texas - my uncle Eddie, aunt Leslie, cousin Cammie & little Preston.  This was the first time they got to meet little Gavin.  Uncle Eddie was a professional baby calmer - he just had the right touch!




On Saturday, we went to my cousin David's wedding.  My sister Marcy did the makeup for the bride and most of the wedding party.  Tonya looked absolutely gorgeous.






On Sunday, we had the Pingel family reunion in Biehle.  We managed to get a good group shot:



And my brother Grant managed to creep into countless other photos....



We had so much fun visiting with everyone!

On the agenda for this week:  PACKING! 
We close on Friday and then the moving will begin.
Have a great week everyone!

**Don't forget to enter the Wedding Wednesday Giveaway for your chance to win a pearl & rhinestone hair embellishment - contest ends 6/11**

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I {heart} Fiesta

One thing on my wedding registry that I was really excited to receive was a starter set of Fiesta dinnerware.  When I look at a great display of Fiesta, it just makes me smile.  Need proof?
















Do you own any Fiesta dinnerware?  How do you have it displayed?  What are your favorite colors?  I can't wait to get our pieces out on display in our new home.  Less than 2 weeks until move-in day!

**Don't forget to enter the Wedding Wednesday Giveaway for your chance to win a pearl & rhinestone hair embellishment - contest ends 6/11**

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - Giveaway!

Remember when I wrote this post about how excited I was when I made it to 1,000 page views?  I promised a giveaway when I hit the 2,000 page view mark, and to my surprise that happened in just under a month this past weekend!  As I was reviewing my blog stats, I noticed that my most popular posts have been part of my Wedding Wednesday Series.  In tribute to to all my faithful wedding readers out there, my first giveaway will be bridal themed. 

I showed you my veil and the headband I wore.  What I didn't show you was the hair piece I purchased but ultimately did not wear for my wedding.  And this lovely piece, my friends, is what I am giving you the chance to win today.



This pearl and rhinestone floral embellishment is so lovely.  I had big plans of attaching it to a hair comb and wearing it on my big day....that was, until I decided I really wanted to wear my hair down instead of up.  The good news is my change of heart means this brand new beauty can be yours for the winning.

There are 3 ways to enter and you can enter up to 3 times.  You must leave a comment after completing each entry so you have more chances to be chosen by random.org's true random number generator.

How to enter:
1.  Leave a comment on this post telling me how you would use this embellishment.  Would you use it for your wedding attached to a hair comb or a headband?  Would you give it to a teen for a future high school dance?  Would this make it into a little girl's dress up box?  I'd love to know!
2.  Follow my blog either by email subscription or add my blog to your Blogger Reading List.
3.  Share this giveaway on your blog, facebook page, pinterest account or tweet about it.  Provide a link to let me know how you shared.

Easy enough, right?  The contest begins today, Wednesday June 6th and ends on Monday June 11th.  I'll review all the entries on Tuesday June 12th, let random.org choose a winner and announce the winner next Wednesday June 13th. The winner will be contacted via email to claim the prize.  May the odds be ever in your favor!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

How to Create a Blog Header using PicMonkey

Have you noticed anything different about my blog lately?
I sure hope so because I spent an entire Saturday morning figuring out how to create a blog header!  I hope you like it as much as I do.  In case anyone else out there is still struggling, I decided to make a tutorial on how I created this fabulous blog header.


Directions:
1.  Open up PicMonkey
2.  Click on the tab for Create a Collage
3.  Choose the FB Cover layout option
4.  Edit the dimensions of the file to be 1000 X 315
5.  Upload photos from your computer to add to your collage. 
6.  Save the completed collage as a .jpg file on your computer.  Make sure the file is not over 300 KB in size or Blogger may not allow you to use it.
7.  Open up the Blogger Template Designer and adjust the width of the entire blog to 1120 px.
8.  Open up Blogger Layout.  Click the link to edit the Header.  Upload the collage from your computer.  Choose the option to use your image instead of the title and description.
9.  Save changes.
10.  Enjoy your new blog header!

How do you make your blog headers?  I thought this was pretty easy for a beginner but would love to hear any other tricks. 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Weekend Recap - Gavin is 1 month old!

Patrick & I had a pretty lazy relaxing weekend. 

The highlight of the weekend was Saturday.  Patrick & I got to babysit Gavin while my sister did makeup for a wedding.  Gavin turned 1 month old on Saturday, so I tried to have a mini photoshoot with him to mark this milestone.  He wasn't having it...so here are my best shots.



Isn't he such a doll?

I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Get Organized in June



I know what you are probably thinking - "Emily, how can you add more tasks to your list when you still haven't finished everything from April?".  Well, the answer is, I can.  :)  I have postponed some tasks until we move into our new home in a few weeks.  Then I promise to fill you in on all the updates.

Here is the current list I showed you in May:
April 21 - Wash windows inside and out.  (Waiting for the new home)

April 22 - Swap out winter decor for spring decor.  (Will decorate new home in summer decor)

April 26 - Review your insurance policies to be sure that you have the right coverage for all your insurance needs.   Done!  Not exciting enough to show you pictures about though.  We needed to purchase homeowners insurance and grouped that together with our autos at the same time.


May 6 - Label, label, label! Clear plastic containers are great for storage, but even they are limited in affording us a quick view of the contents.  Done!  Remember this post about packing for the move?


May 8 - Shoe Parking! Many families take shoes off at the door to avoid tracking outside dirt into the house and onto carpets. A bench with a handy shoe rack makes it easy for family and guests to stop and remove shoes before going further into the house.  (Bench has been purchased but will need to see how it will be incorporated in the new house.)

May 17 - Open that mail right over the recycle bin.  Handling mail sometimes leads to stacks here and stacks there.  So when you bring it into the house, sort it immediately.  Shred anything that has personal information on it and recycle the rest.  Keep any bills or important mail in a separate file.

May 24 - Organizing the car is something we let slide while we take care of our house and families.  Containerize loose items so things don't fall out when you open the door.

Since I still have several tasks on the list for April & May, I am going to try to limit the number of new tasks I choose from the June list.

June 17 -  Create a kitchen annex.  Store seldom used appliances and serving pieces together in a closet.  If you don't use it regularly, it shouldn't be taking up valuable real estate in the kitchen.

June 19 - Manage your money.  Some simple things to keep on top of your finances are balancing your checkbook, paying a couple of bills each evening, reconciling your credit card statement, reviewing that bank statement for errors and filing your weekly receipts.  These simple tasks give you a good view of your finances.

June 26 - Clean out your old makeup in your cosmetic drawer.  There are items that should be replaced frequently, such as mascara.  It should be replaced every 3 months for safety sake.

Once again - all lists come from the Get Organized Now website.  Head over there for the complete list of monthly tasks.  Also check in to see what Julie at the Hyper House has on her list for June.
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