Sunday, October 30, 2011

It's almost time...

For our Third Annual Chili Cookoff! I am SO excited, y'all! Steven and I love to entertain, but our big thing every year is our chili cookoff, just in the midst of fall. It also happens to be his birthday weekend, so we'll be celebrating him, too. I started with the Paperless Post for my invitations. If you haven't checked them out, do so for your next event!
 Last year, my parents hosted the cookoff as our engagement party:
 I love this idea for a drink station:
 We're hoping to host the party outside, but I'm sure folks will come indoors to escape the cold, so we're filling up our house with decor as well:
 Outside, we'll set up cornhole, ladderball, and I'm planning to have haybells with quilts or blankets for seating:
 I started a bunting project...which we'll be stringing on our closed garage door above the food station:

 These are all so cute:

Apple Cider Punch sounds like a great idea in mason jars:

 sunflowers are simple and they add so much color!:

 Now for the FOOD! The advantage of hosting a chili cookoff, is that we simply provide the fixins (cheese, sour cream, fritos, and chives), cornbread, veggies, and desserts. It takes pressure off if you're not a fan of cooking for tons of people! Everyone brings a crock of chili and we plug 'em in and enjoy! Then we vote.

I cannot wait to try my hand at baking pie pops! These are great because you can prep them ahead, freeze, then bake the day of. Steven loves pie!

 My mom is making caramel apples:

 And the night would not be complete without a firepit and s'mores!

Hope you had a wonderful Halloween weekend!
Trick or Treat,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

oh my stars...

 It's been a little crazier than normal, but that's OK. Steven was off to Philly again this week, so I stayed super busy.
Life's happenings, in some photos:

Steven recorded Rachael Ray for me one day last week because he thought I might like this adorable gal, since she has a new cookbook full of easy Asian delights. He was right! It's definitely on my christmas list:
Last weekend I went to my parent's house and my grandparents both celebrated their 75th Birthdays! I'm lucky that each of them are a huge part of my life.
This was too cute of my mom. Dutch always thinks he's a lap dog:
 Steven drove from work on Sunday to join in and we were practically matching. Not planned!
 I've been crafting and prepping for our Chili Cookoff...Here's a sneak peak:
 Our shelves got some updates and wedding photos (finally!):
I decorated for fall! AND, I found a sunburst clock from Kirklands for only $20! I had $5 off from an old picture frame I returned. I may convert into a mirror. 
 Using art I already had from my old apartment, I spruced up our bar a little...
 I also starting playing around with our powder room plans. The walls are orange and pretty bare. I want to get a wall decal in gold of either birds on a powerline or in a tree. Or I may just paint a gold design myself?I was thinking of doing a gallery wall above the porcelin throne of photos from our first dance since our sweet friends, Meredith and Josh gave us this special print. It just so happens that Elvis came to sing the old classic for us at our reception and Steven had no idea:
I LOVE this hand towel for the bath that I picked up at Anthro when I was in Philly with STH:
My copy of SW4 came in just as I was leaving to visit my family last weekend, and I was super excited to spy our very own wedding rings, shot by Nancy!
 Steven finally returned Thursday and he snuck lots of Fiji waters for me from training:
& now he's certified! yay:)
I'm spending today relaxing and cleaning, then later I'm heading to a pumpkin carving party...I'm opting to decorate or paint, not here are some ideas:

How was your week? Any fun weekend plans?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

'It's All Happening!"

I was on my way to work this morning and it dawned on me how crazy it is that life quickly goes from one thing to the next. Just as time has literally flown by in the last 6 months, I could not be more thankful for all that has been keeping us busy. It's all happening! Personally, Steven and I are just settling into our new marriage so we have no big news or big plans, thank goodness! But each of the ladies above are all taking huge strides into their most exciting time of their lives yet. Six months ago was a slightly different story. 6 months ago I was walking down the aisle with each of them by my side experiencing the most exciting time in my own life. They gave me so much love and support. Lots of phone calls, wine dates, road trips, and emails have filled any gaps there could have been throughout the years. We've all had ups, downs, distance, and too much togetherness. We've shared messes to clean up, tears to dry, laughs that constitute as ab workouts, and we've put many miles on many cars together. Playlists, makeovers, late night chats, nun skits, musical numbers, and dance friends are seriously the best. And now today there are two mommys-to-be,  one bride-to-be, one newlywed, and one who has taken 2 incredibly huge risks with love and career. And all that's happened in the last 6 months! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited and I am for each of these women. My heart is giddy with delight to be there for them in these wonderful new chapters. I'm amazed at how life will change so much for them and for us, but I have no doubt they're all going to be rockstars in their new roles! Big stuff here, y'all. The best is seriously yet to come.They are a fine, fine group, those gals, and I'm just lucky enough to see them all through. Emily, Emily, Steph, Mere, and Amber-You ladies are amazing and you make proud :) This photo makes me so grateful and it makes me feel beyond blessed for the memories yet to come! Love and hugs<3


*title ref to one of the best films ever, Almost Famous. *image credit: Nancy Ray

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Philly Photos

Here's our Philly recap! Steven and I have a serious weakness for amazing food:

We saw a little piece of America's history:

(I) Broke a heel while shopping (tax free):

We shared an italian dinner in West Chester:

We explored the countryside & downtown:

 Stumbled across the Mushroom Capital of the World, Kennet Square:

 & we made some friends, per usual:

 While riding around, I couldn't get over how pretty the country was...

 We stopped a few times along the way for some wine & beer tours & tastings:



Despite a few things, it was an wonderful quick trip!

It's been 6 months of marriage, and we've already hit up 3 of the biggest cities in America. Our goal was 1/year. Hooray for being on the ball!