Thursday, September 30, 2010

my first (successful) etsy purchase

WARNING: while this post is about purchasing from ETSY, it is also about wedding warned.

one thing i really wanted to get for my bridesmaids was cute clutches or handbags that were different, fun, a pop of color and re-usable. i feel like i succeeded with 3/4 of these requirements.

since my girls wore PINK heels (Mossimo, from Target) i decided on PINK purses (i knew KT wouldn't be happy about it, but i did it anyway). after unfortunate evens from my first attempt at purses on Etsy (didn't hear back from the vendor for months after paying 1/2 of the money up front), i decided to go for something really different.

photo by Danielle Hartland Graphic Design & Photography 
(actually, her assistant Miranda took this one!)

i discovered Poppy Punch Etsy shop while doing a general bridal clutch search on Etsy. i was more than pleased with the results. Toon worked close with me on personalizing my clutches (allowing me to pick my fabric and add a silver chain). She also gave me a discount (well, i did order NINE bags...eight bridesmaids and one bride). i picked a pink flowery pattern for the girls and the same pattern in orange for me. they might not be able to use these again too often, but they were a great deal, looked awesome in pictures (so far that i've seen), and shipped quickly (they came from Thailand) and *cutely* wrapped.

i would definitely recommend Poppy Punch for personalized, fun and funky clutches! there are so many gorgeous bags on their site!

photo by Danielle Hartland Graphic Design & Photography

photo by Staci

Friday, September 24, 2010

currently listening and Target 2010 Fall Ad

two of my fav bands have new albums this month - Anberlin: Dark is the Way, Light is a Place and Maroon 5: Hands All Over.

currently on repeat:
We Owe This to Ourselves
You Belong Here

Maroon 5
Give a Little More

i haven't really gotten through all the songs on the albums yet, so these are just my initial first loves on each.

speaking of music, and i'm sort of copying my sister on this one, but i swear i was going to post this...

the song in the new TARGET FALL 2010 COMMERCIAL is by my cousin Paul & his band - Paul & the Patients. you may have heard me talk about Paul before, he actually wrote a song for the ceremony of my sister's wedding and wrote the song for Josh & i's first dance. Our song is called "The Perfect Kiss" and i hope to get a snippet of it up here at some point, with Paul's permission of course.

anyway, here's the ad. totally love it. great job, Paul!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

kitchen fun

i've been having a delightful time "decorating" our new townhouse. josh has limited me to no pictures in the "computer room" (his computer room, which also has all of his clothes and my little make up table that i sit at for a total of 20-30 minutes a day, usually when he's still sleeping), but i like to take full reign in the kitchen (in moderation!)...

i got these clear jars at Marshall's back when i was in the old townhouse. i feel like they really need fun things like colored jelly beans or other fun candies to go in them, but right now this is what is used and needs a place! i know what's in the jars, but i thought it'd be fun to label them with the font i'm now obsessed with (thanks to Katie for using it on the shower invites, rachel using it on the wedding invites and us using it all over the wedding day decorations) - Albemarle Swash. it's just so fun!

Monday, September 13, 2010

awesome cookie bars

i have been a baking and cooking fiend since we've been back from the honeymoon. i'm loving our new Rachael Ray pans and KitchenAid mixer and want to use them at all times possible.

i've already made 3 (half) batches of chocolate chip cookies, so yesterday i decided to try something else. i found a recipe in my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook for Chocolate Revel Bars (recipe here) and decided to make some adaptations. instead of melting the chocolate chips with the sweetened condensed milk, i melted caramels in the sweetened condensed milk, poured that on the bottom layer of cookies and sprinkled the chocolate chips over the top of the caramel. also, i didn't have sweetened condensed milk as the recipe called for - but did you know you can make a substitute for that using dry milk, boiling water, sugar and a little butter. totally worked! because weird - i have dry milk in my cupboard.

i'm happy to say i've now created my husband's third favorite cookie/bar. his 1st favorite are Carmelitas by his Gram, i know i can never surpass that. 2nd is s'mores bars. ah-ma-zing.

anyway, i'm horrible and writing, so here are some pictures. please note our gorgeous plates and fun table runner.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

wedding details: the dress

if you've been following my blog, i know i've posted a lot about details for our wedding. now that it is over i feel it's time to share some of those AWESOME details. i feel like i have a story to tell about almost each piece i wore, so i'm going to break up the posts that deal with my attire.

The Dress:

my dress was Iliana by Maggie Sottero. the dress was shown online in silver, so originally i had the idea in my mind that i wanted that. i had been browsing Maggie dresses over six months before we even got engaged, and this was one of the few i picked out that i looked at daily. like, seriously. daily.

i totally envisioned myself wearing this dress at our wedding. when the dress hunt started towards the end of that year (2009), i checked three bridal stores out and had a favorite from each place. none were the Iliana dress. i was so incredibly close to getting another beautiful dress from David's Bridal, but i walked away from all three stores without purchasing anything. i could not commit. i had plenty of time before the wedding, but i felt i needed to nail the dress before any other details could be envisioned. i knew i needed to try those other Maggie dresses i had been pining over for months. i finally called the first store we stopped at and asked if they had them. and i gave them like, 15 dresses to check. i think they only had three of these. Iliana was one of them.

i was SO excited to try it on and as soon as i did, i knew it had to be the dress. i was nervous my mum wouldn't like it as much because it was so simple (no beading, one fabric), but the way the dress fit me, the fabric, the straps, the amazing train and how it looked in the back - all made this dress so unique and glamorous, everyone loved it. i did go with the ivory color - i described it to people as melted white chocolate. how could one NOT love that!?

to me the dress was perfect, especially for my now-husband. he is a minimal kind of guy (you should see our apartment!), so i knew he would appreciate a dress that wasn't busy. also, my engagement ring is very simple and modern, my wedding band is just a plain, flat-edge band. the style of this dress dictated simplicity and modernism in our wedding theme, with punches of crazy details in things like the shoes and jewelry.

i don't have any full-length dress pictures yet, but this is one of my favorites from our photographer's set so far:

lies! okay, this one is from my sister's series of pics:

Monday, September 6, 2010

awesome lunch totes

a few years ago i was linked to the Lean Cuisine Komen breast cancer awareness lunch totes. those things were so cute, pluse they were under $15 and all the proceeds went to breast cancer research, education, prevention and detection programs. unfortunately it seems as though i have LOST my two bags and i'm not sure if they will be doing this program again this fall. ever since i moved all of my stuff into our new townhouse, i've been coming home during lunch (it's a 4 minute drive. seriously). however, i would love to get a new lunch tote and start packing again a few days a week.

i came across a fun company called Built NY that is all-things totes (i found it through Real Simple - September). i am adoring these lunch totes. so cute, plus insulated for up to four hours and machine washable. awesome!

one of these is for sure going on my kaboodle wish list for Christmas.

part of the Alexander Girard collection. he is known for creating patterns and textiles, mostly for Herman Miller. LOVE!

there are a lot of other fun things on this website. check them out:

Sunday, September 5, 2010


for our honeymoon, we went to the hot and humid city of Playa Mujeres, near Cancun, in Mexico. we stayed at the Excellence Resort. it was pretty much amazing. all inclusive, awesome food, gorgeous rooms and interiors, friendly and helpful staff, beautiful pools...could not have asked for more!!

our flight down had no issues, though we had two layovers and our first connecting flight had already been boarding for 1/2 hour when our first flight landed in the airport. luckily we didn't have any issues making our way to and ONTO that flight. it was another quick one (both the first flights were about an hour), and then we had a relaxing 3 1/2 hour layover before the 3 hour trip to the Cacun airport. i heard a rumor that the floor in their airport was, that's not true. it's very nice there.

by the time we got outside the sun was already going down, but the heat and humidity were ridiculous. Erie can be quite a hot and humid place, but it's never close to as bad as the humidity during the day. 

we spent the first evening getting settled in our room. we ordered room service and checked out all the fun amenities in the room (the dual-faucet shower, in-room safe, mini-bar, balcony and our awesome view). it was too hot to go outside. plus the pools were already closed, it was dark already and we were exhausted. our room had a beautiful king-sized bed, double sinks, l-shaped couch, jacuzzi and balcony with an awesome bed/couch thing and table and chairs.

on Monday we spent the morning sleeping in, ordered some yummy room service for breakfast, then changed into our swimming gear and explored the resort. we hung out in one of the larger pools adjacent to the spa and REVIVE bar. it was gorgeous. the water was so warm, and it wasn't that crowded either.

Monday night we ate at the Toscana Italian restaurant for dinner. We had a bottle of wine (they served 2 whites and 2 reds that were included in the "all-inclusive" package), bread baked with garlic and parm cheese with oil & vinegar for dipping, a bruschetta sampler, i had minestrone soup (AMAZING) and josh had caprese salad. my main course was lasagna Florentine, josh had spaghetti bolognese. for dessert: tiramisu and strawberry gelato. definitely was my favorite place, we went there again on Friday night.

we spent most of our time relaxing in this pool, which we could see from our room. it was amazing, not crowded and a little cooler temperature than the other pools we tried.


we only went to one other restaurant for dinner, called SPICE, this one was Asian/Japanese inspired. it was also delicious. i had coconut soup (very good, lots of chunks of chicken and not too sweet), Thai fried rice with chicken (delish) and flan (weird, but okay). josh had spring rolls, steak and noodles and some sort of ice cream type dessert.  

our trip was SO awesome and fun. i would definitely recommend it. Excellence Resorts have several other locations as well; i would love to try their Jamaica or Dominican Republic resorts as well.

ugh, i apologize for the horrid-ness of how this blog post looks. apparently Blogger's new picture formatting does not like me one bit!!!