Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What to do with all of the wedding cards

Happy Wednesday :)  Today is my handsome hubby's 22nd birthday!!!  Here are some highlights from our celebration:

Birthday Brownies and candles in the shape of a "C" :)

I like this one of him blowing out the candles

Coffee and birthday brownies to celebrate :) A very chill and low key night at home to welcome his 22nd year.  I love nights like this and birthdays are a perfect time to make it a priority.

The second purpose for this post is to share a project that I did to make a keepsake of all the wedding cards we received.  The cards have been sitting in a box in the living room waiting for a project to use them with.  I didn't want to throw them away because I am overly sentimental and love reading through all of them, but I also knew that they could not stay in a box in my living room forever.  Then one day I stumbled across this brilliant idea on Pinterest:

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From the blog Something Turquoise

What a clever way to save all of your wedding cards in a presentable format that you and guests to your home can enjoy!  Loved it right away and set out immediately making our cards into a book :)

I enlisted the help of the hubby to help hole punch the cards because some of them were super thick!  And once all of them were hole punched I sorted them into three books.  One book was just cards from our engagement and showers, and the other two books were from our wedding.  Once sorted I measured the largest card in each stack and made the front and back covers 1/2 inch larger on both sides to created a nice finished look.

Once the front and back covers were cut I attached ribbon to the back cover and made sure that it was long enought to wrap around the front and tie into a bow.  

The rest of the books were purely cosmetic, so I of course decorated them in our wedding colors and added some Lauren flair ;)

I excited that I finally came across a way to use our wedding cards and really enjoy them :)  

Also if I could ask all of you to say a little prayer for me I have a big opportunity tomorrow and I am really needing postive thoughts and prayers sent my way.  Thank you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Deck the Halls

Hello All!  What a wonderful holiday weekend with family :)  Splitting time between the families was an interesting experience to work through, but I'm hoping that Thanksgiving helped us to see what works (and doesn't work) for the holidays so that we are better prepared for Christmas and are able to spend quality time with both of our families :)

As much as I love Thanksgiving, I ADORE Christmas!  This time of year is so special and hopeful, and I am really excited for our first Christmas as a married couple :)  One aspect of the holiday that I was really excited for was decorating our house, and after emerging from my turkey coma I set to work making a beautiful tree skirt for our tree.  I used these examples from Pinterest as inspiration:

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DIY Tree Skirt

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DIY No Sew Tree Skirt

I took tips from both ideas and forged ahead making my own.  I used about four yards of fabric total that was divided into five different kinds of fabric.

Here is the fabric breakdown:

*Largest Ring - 1 1/2 yards
*Second Ring - 1 yard
*Third Ring - 3/4 yard
*Fourth Ring - 1/2 yard
*Fifth/ Sixth Ring - 1/2 yard

I used a cheap $1 44" felt tree skirt from the dollar store and set to work.  I started by cutting the fabric into 4" wide strips (this takes a while so recruiting help is always good).

Once the strips were cut I loosely sewed one side and scrunched the fabric to create a pretty wave effect. When all of the strips had been sewn I began applying them to the felt tree skirt.  I measured three inches in from the edge of the tree skirt to mark the first place to attach the fabric strips.  I chose three inches because I wanted the fabric to hang off the edge of the felt tree skirt an inch.

I chose to go the no sew route of attaching the fabric strips and hot glued them to the existing tree skirt.  If you are handier with a sewing machine you could also attach the strips that way :)

When I got to the center of the skirt I chose to do two layers of the same fabric although you could choose one more fabric option.

I am THRILLED with how the skirt turned out and total my project came to around $23!  Cheaper and prettier (in my opinion) than any that I have seen at the stores this season :)

When we got home we went right to work setting up and decorating our tree so we put our tree skirt around the tree!

Here is the final product:

I am looking forward to a wonderful holiday season!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why must marriage be anything but good?

Each day of my job I get to build relationships with the physicians and office staff that I call on, and because I only see them once every two weeks it is a slow process.  One of the easiest topics to talk about is the fact that I am a newlywed :)  Many of my offices remember me, because I got married and left for my honeymoon after only calling on them once!  Each time I go in I get the question of "how is married life?" and I happily reply "WONDERFUL!!!"  The response I get a lot of times is "Wait a bit, that will end" and I joke that I will be looking out for that.

Lately though I have been thinking, why do people place the expectation on marriage that at some time it will stop being wonderful?  I do not mean to say that marriage is not hard work or that there will not be days where arguements take place, but why do some feel that there is a point in every marriage where it stops being an amazing experience and becomes a burden?

I believe that there has to be a commitment to making your marriage be a place of love, acceptance, forgiveness, and growth.  At church on Sunday Pastor Mark shared a story of conjoined twins who were joined at the heart and he stated "Since separation is not an option cooperation becomes an obligation."  This is the mindset that we should enter into marriage with.  Marriage is not a temporary high that goes away, it is a committment to another person that should always be honored.  It is work and dedication, but at the same time it can be a place of great love and beauty.  In order to be at that place, we must work on our marriage diligently and not let separation enter our minds.

Matthew 12:25 states, "...Any kingdom at war with itsef is doomed.  A city or home divided against itself is doomed."  This is what stands to happen to marriage when both parties are not fully committed to cooperation and working to build a strong, loving bond between them that cannot be destroyed.  Marriage does not have to be a union that ends up bad no matter what, but our choices can lead it to that place or they can lead it in a healthy direction.

I apologize for the randomness of this entry, but it has been on my heart for a while and I wanted to share it :)  Happy Wednesday

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Favs: Week 2

Happy Friday!!!!  The drive home on Friday always seems extra long :(  What an evil way the world works sometimes!  But now I am happily home with my hubby getting ready for a lovely Halloween weekend and I wanted to share some of my favorites this week... so here goes :)

*My lovely friends.  This sounds cheesy, but this week they are at the top of my list.  Last night I had my weekly date night with Laura and Mina to watch Vampire Diaries and Grey's Anatomy, and they were exactly what I needed after a long day.  They are always so loving and inspiring, plus they make me laugh :)  And this morning I got to share an early morning breakfast with Michelle and Ashley.  There was no better way to start the day than over a delicious breakfast with two fantastic people!

*Our brand new "From the Calefs" stamp that I bought off of Pick Your Plum!  They had personalized stamps for sale a few weeks back and it came to under $13 for the stamp and shipping!  Heck yes to a good deal and the stamp is so cute.  I have been using the stamp this week on the back of thank you cards (yes I am STILL working on them... making them by hand is a lot of work).

*The Pinterest Challenge put on by Young House Love!  I am participating this week and will unveil what I decided to do next Wednesday :)  You should all participate too!  Pinterest is awesome.

*Speaking of Pinterest this is my favorite idea that I found this week.  It would fit anywhere in our house right now, but maybe in the future...

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Hope everyone has a lovely Halloween weekend! BOO!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mirror re-do

With my job I travel a lot and must get creative with ways to spend my lunch time in different towns.  One of my favorite places to go in Branson is TJMaxx.  They often have a better selection than the one in Springfield, and they have a really good clearance area.  This shopping trip I was looking to see if I could find some cute fall decor (which I found) and stumbled upon a fantastic mirror that I knew I had to have.  First the cute fall decorations just because I love them :)

And now on to the mirror.  It started its life like this:

I looked past its hot pink frame thanks to its $15 price tag and decided that I could make it function in our master bedroom.  I bought a can of primer and a can of sunshine yellow spray paint for the re-do.  The primer was a must with the frame being a very bright hot pink :)

I was so excited to get the mirror up and on the wall that I decided to paint it right after I got home, which meant that it was dark outside so sorry about the dark pictures to come ;)

It took about 4 coats of primer and 3 coats of color to cover the hot pink, but the finished project is amazing in my opinion :)

I was squealing with excitement when it went up on the wall!  Living in a rental presents that challenge of sterile, white walls that you can't do anything with.  I am always looking for fun ways to bring bright colors to our walls and this mirror definitely did it in our master bedroom :)  

See you tomorrow for a Friday Favorites post!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Favs: The Beginning

Good morning!  In honor of one of my favorite blogs to read I decided I would start a "Friday Favs" routine and share some of the things that I am really loving in life this week :)

*In honor of this morning's workout with Samantha, I am loving spin class!  I should clarify.  I want to kill myself when I am in the class and on the bike, but after class I feel energized and focused.  After class I am fully ready to take on the last day of the week and head in to a nice, relaxing weekend :)

*I was in a doctor's office yesterday and saw a magazine with the word SEE boldly written across the top.  I had never seen it before and in my job I see a LOT of magazines while sitting in waiting rooms.  The full title of the magazine I found out is called Seeing The Everyday, and it is all about realizing that nothing in life is routine and we must work to see what is special in every day.  What a great concept!  The past few weeks have been a struggle work wise and I was getting bogged down by the feeling of being in a rut.  I get up, go to work, come home, run around the house, go to bed, and get up and do it all over again.  I am going to work on retraining myself to see the small wins at work, and live in joy at home as I build a home with my husband... even on the days when it feels like a routine.

*PUMPKIN!!!  To be honest I love pumpkin everything throughout fall, but this week with the cooler temperatures it has started to feel like fall and I want to carve pumpkins, eat pumpkin foods, and drink pumpkin flavored drinks :)  I really want to try this recipe for pumpkin croissants that I saw on pinterest.  They look delicious!

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*Finally my favorite bible verse of the week Colossians3:23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward."

Our God is so good!  Have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Appreciation sparked through experiencing

I am here this afternoon to tell all of you that I appreciate my husband so much!  I appreciate him for the efforts he takes to make our house running smoothly, I appreciate him for how he loves me, and I really appreciate him for the effort he is putting in to school to provide for our family in the future.  After working in a job that I do not necessarily love I appreciate this effort even more because I know that part of the reason he is so dedicated to his studies is that he does not want me to be miserable in my job forever and the one providing for our family.

Cameron Calef thank you for all that you do and for working for our future.  I appreciate every ounce of work you put in to our family and I am so proud to be your wife.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Marriage Journal

Hello from Little Rock!  I am here for the week training, and I am missing home like crazy!  Tomorrow is our two month anniversary (yay!) and I would much rather be home than here for the occassion.  To up my spirits I thought I would write a post and share an amazing gift with all of you :)  Sound like a plan?

Cameron and I were blessed with amazing pre-marital counselors that not only helped us to talk through important issues that may arise in our marriage, but also want to be our friends and mentors through the years.  For my Springfield shower, Henrietta came and gave me two books; "The Power of Praying Wife" and "The Power of a Praying Husband".  Cameron and I are both currently reading them, and I promise to do a review when we finish.  In addition to the great books, she told me that her and Rick were looking for a marriage journal to give us but hadn't found the perfect one.  This is the point when I looked at her with a puzzled look and asked her to explain.

Her and Rick started a marriage journal later in their marriage, and really wished that they had had one from the beginning.  The journal serves as a way of documenting big events that take place during the course of your marriage.  She recommended making an entry every year on your anniversary and writing about events that took place during the last year, how you're growing closer to your spouse, and what things you are both excited for to take place in the next year.  She said there is nothing better than looking back over their previous entries and seeing just how much their marriage has endured. 

Cameron and I loved the idea, and set out to find the perfect journal to write our love story in :)  And we found the journal at Harry Potter World on our honeymoon (of course!).

A Hogwarts journal to document our marriage memories... it doesn't get much more perfect than that!

Our first entry was to write down our perspectives of our wedding day.  I wanted to get all of the memories down while they were still fresh in our minds :)

I am really excited to have a way to capture the journey that our marriage will take, and be able to look back and reflect on how far we have come as couple.  To anyone that is getting married or already is married I HIGHLY recommend investing in a marriage journal.  You won't regret having the ups and downs of your marriage documented to reflect and learn from :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Welcome to my musings...

Hello all!  It has been almost three months since I last posted and that just won't do.  Welcome back and get ready for a transformation of the blog and what I write muse about.  When I started this blog I did want it to be an opportunity for me to share my wedding journing with people that could not be here in person for my crafting and planning, but I had always hoped to keep it up afterward and just share how things are going in our new home, the lessons I am learning as a Mrs., and other musings that I feel the need to share.  So... here is the blog with a new purpose and a new name but still the same girl behind the writing :)

We had a beautiful wedding!  After five short months of planning I had a wedding that I was not expecting, but that I truly cherish.  We are so blessed to have such amazing friends and family that helped to make the day special and were there to celebrate with us as we embarked on the amazing journey of being husband and wife :)

It was a beautiful rainy day that filled my heart with joy and has given me so many wonderful memories :)

My future posts will probably contain more recaps of our wedding, the honeymoon, and what has been going on in our lives since the wedding, but for now the photos will have to do.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cute As a Button

Hello all!  Hope you are having a fantastic Thursday!  The weekend is almost here :)

This morning I had a dress fitting, and it got me in the mood to run some wedding errands :) (although I must say that it doesn't take much to get me in the mood for wedding stuff!)

One project that I focused on in my shopping was picking up supplies for my flower girl's headband.  I found a two pack of white silk headbands at hobby lobby, and a package of wedding buttons at JoAnn's and I was set!

Here is what I came up with:

I just made three small fabric flowers like I used on the flower girl basket and the bridesmaid dresses, and added fun buttons to the center flower :)

Here is a close up of the buttons (they happen to be my favorite detail):

I am hoping to post a lot of the wedding crafts that I have been furiously working on before I leave for training on Sunday... if not you will get random sporadic updates of wedding crafts that have been done for a few weeks :)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bridal Bouquet

I swore I would never create my own bridal bouquet.  It scared me, I tought I would disappoint myself and hate it forever, I did not know where to even start.  Then reality set in and I swallowed my fear and jumped into the project (with the help of my lovely friend Jenna... I think she was the real courage booster!)

So now I am here to share with you our adventure of making my bridal bouquet :)  But as usual, I am first going to show you some inspiration pictures from around the web:

Once I had found enough pictures to serve as inspiration, Jenna and I set off to find silk flowers.  The first stop was a great store here in Springfield called Martin's Floral and Home Decor.  They have the best deals in town for silk flowers, and a huge selection to choose from.  I found almost everything I needed there, but we did make one stop at Hobby Lobby to round out the flower needs :)  Here is what we ended up with:

*One Dozen Roses
*7 Calla Lilies
*3 Ranunculus
*2 Hydrangeas

When we got home we separated all of the flowers into single stems, and cleaned up any leaves or other pieces that we didn't like.  Then we chose which flower we wanted to be in the center, and added flowers around it until the entire bouquet was made.  I wanted a bouquet that did not have a set order (such as one flower type in the center surrounded by a different flower type on the outside) so we really paid attention to not have too much of one type of flower in a given area.

Cameron snapped a picture of us while arranging :)  I just love this girl!

Once we had added all of the flowers we moved them around until we came up with an arrangement we liked, and here is the final producut:

Here is Jenna posing with the finished bouquet :)

We wrapped the stems in pewter ribbon just like the bridesmaid bouquets, but I wanted to add something a little different to make it look like a bridal bouquet.  I found this picture while perusing the internet and decided that I wanted to add som lace :)

I wanted the lace, but I still wanted the pewter to show, so I cut the lace in half to make it skinny and then wrapped it around the stems, leaving space so that the pewter ribbon could show through.

The final part of the project was to add a sentimental touch, inspired by this picture:

In the upper right corner of this collage is a picture of a little silver sillouette.  My great grandmother had a pin that she wore all of the time that had little gold hearts or sillouettes for all of her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren (there are A LOT of little gold hearts and sillouettes on this pin!).  She passed away in October, but I wanted a way to have her part of the wedding as well as my little brother Bennett who passed away, so I asked for my heart and Bennett's heart to sew on to my bouquet.  I also sewed on each of our "little people" charms that my mom wore on a necklace.

My bouquet is beautiful and sentimental, and I cannot wait to walk down the aisle with it!

I also want to wish my future brother-in-law Carter a very happy birthday!  Can't wait to spend the day with you :)