I cannot even begin to explain how much fun I had at my bridal shower last Saturday and how grateful I am to my Aunt Celeste for hosting it, Charlotte for planning such amazing games, Kristin for flying into town, my Mom for sending out the invitations, and my future MIL for bringing such yummy goodies to share. Oh, and not to mention the 30 of my family and friends who came to support me, play silly games, drink mimosas and shower me with love and presents.
The house was decorated in green and pink from floor to ceiling and I about exploded with giggles I was so happy. Picture me running around the house taking pictures and squealing. There, now it’s like you were there. 🙂
The food and drinks were spectacular. I think the most popular (and my favorite) was the mimosa bar. There were frozen raspberries and three different types of fruit juice to mix with the champagne. I was in heaven. While the orange was classic I really liked the mango and the pomegranate mixers. Not too sweet and really refreshing!
There were also little hot dogs, strawberries and angel food cake, sandwiches, egg salad, chocolate covered apricots, chocolate chip cookies, tomatoes and mozzarella, and the list goes on and on! It was so yummy! And everything had some kind of green or pink incorporated, even if it was on a green plate!
Mom picked out the favors for the group which were adorable coaster sets. (I got two!) And Aunt Celeste had me bring my recipe box with my new name on it (a gift from Kevin and Kathy for Christmas) and each guest contributed one of their favorite recipes. I LOVE this gift and will treasure making recipes from my family (and new family!) and friends.
Seeing friends that I’ve had since Kindergarten and getting to spend time with Josh’s grandmothers was really special. I have such a close relationship with my Grandpa, but my mother’s and father’s mom’s passed away when I was younger. It’s been really fun getting to know Josh’s grandmas and I love being able to grow my relationships with them!
For dessert, Charlotte picked up a white chocolate raspberry cake from Victoria’s Cakery. This was such a special treat as this will be our wedding cake! Everyone at the party was raving about it so I think they’ll be excited to see it again at the reception.
Charlotte was also SO CUTE. She told me that she specifically requested the lightest color pink for the frosting. She nailed it!
Thank you thank you THANK YOU to everyone who made my shower so special!
Here’s what this week looked like in exercise:
Monday – OTH Elliptical Session
Tuesday – Total Body Class
Wednesday – HITT
Thursday – Total Body Class
Friday – Intense Stretching and Stairmaster Burn
Happy Friday everyone! I had a super busy one today. Workout/OTH this morning, a full day of work with some video editing and meetings, ran to an audition at lunch, and then headed straight to the airport to catch my flight to Albany. I have so much to say though (Who me? Verbose?) that instead of taking my normal homeless woman nap with my mouth open on the plane, I’m catching up with you instead. Gotta love laptops.
So this week was a biggie for our wedding prep and I’m so excited to have crossed an important item off of our list–We ordered our invitations. It’s official, after several rounds of proofs with Invitations by Dawn we gave the final approval today and sent them on to the printer. Eeeee so nerve-wracking!
Though we originally ordered them last week, we did a little something special to make the invitations a little more ‘us’.
As you may or may not know, Josh designed our save the dates. By hand. From scratch. Oh yeah, he does graphic design in addition to his filmmaking and photography. I’m marrying such a creative. 🙂
So after he made the STD post cards in Photoshop, I decided that I also had to learn this fabulous tool and started playing around with some of the STD elements to create us a wedding logo.
You guys, it was so much fun! I think I created about a thousand different logos. Fine five. But it felt like a thousand. The best part was that we were able to use this personal logo on our invitations! I am really proud to have contributed something to our day like this. The STDs were so special because Josh made them by hand after we had talked through and I’d sketched (terribly) some ideas.
After a brief tutorial of Photoshop from Josh (my first few hours were spent cursing at the computer because nothing was working), I decided to use the state of Virginia from our STD as the base of the logo. Josh and I both grew up in VA for most of our lives, we met here, fell in love here, and live here now. I will tell you when I was growing up I never thought I’d come back to the area. But now, it’s like I fell in love with the state for the first time. It’s just home. And home is always a good place to start.
Then I added a swirly design to match the existing design on the invitation suite and played around with the fonts that Invitations by Dawn could offer that I could also download to use in our logo. We settled on Mahogany Script for the cursive and Copperplate for the print. I love the way it turned out.
Now how does this logo design relate to marriage? Well the final logo looks great, but along the way I would try something then run it by Josh and he would like some parts and not others. My initial reaction was always, “well my way is better,” but a large part of me kept reminding me that this is OUR wedding and OUR logo. Not mine. My way is now irrelevant. So is Josh’s way. We had to find something that worked for us.
When I would get frustrated making edits, Josh would offer to do a little tweaking and I’d send him over the file. We went back and forth several times and kept changing things back, trying new combinations of initials and date placement, and ultimately we ended up with a logo that makes both of us happy. Not because we both think everything about it is perfect, but because we made it together.
And isn’t that marriage right there? It will not be perfect but it will be something we make together. With a lot of effort and careful consideration and hopefully love. Josh and I both have strong opinions – which came to the forefront of this graphic project – but in many cases I just needed to let go of control. Do I really care about single swirl v. double swirl? No. I care about having my voice heard and making sure my future husband feels the same way. What fun is a custom logo if Josh isn’t as much a part of it as I am. Or if he let’s me do whatever I want but doesn’t like the end result.
I don’t want a passive partner (and am so lucky he isn’t!) because a one-woman show isn’t nearly as meaningful as a life created TOGETHER.
I look at our logo with love. We made it together, each with different points, suggestions, times of leadership and times of compromise. I hope we can live out our marriage in the same way, I look forward to carefully working on our life with Josh.
Can I just say that there is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work (seeing Grandpa on the way) and then plopping on the couch and crossing things off my to-do list. I knocked out our first wedding thank you notes, paid a few bills, and am now watching The Bachelorette while I catch up with you! Win!
Additional Engagement Shoot details:Wedding Date: September 13, 2014Wedding Location: Clifton, VAEngagement Shoot Location: Old Town Alexandria, where they met and got engagedEngagement Shoot Date: April 13, 2014Photographer: Lindsey from Sam Stroud PhotographyMaureen’s Hair: Ashley at Dry Bar in Georgetown (Washington DC)Maureen’s Make-up: LaToya Wilson (Make-up trial for wedding day)Maureen’s Style Choices: Striped shirt: Banana Republic (40% off in store) // Midi skirt: H&M // Earrings: Sworovski two years ago (gift from Josh) // Tennis Bracelet: Sworovski (gift from my Aunts) // Green Dress: H&M // Blush Heels: Sole Society (similar) // Blush Necklace: H&M // Blush Bracelet: H&M // Watch: Lucien Piccard via Gilt // Silver Cuff: Williamsburg Artist // Sandals: DSW three years ago (similar and similar)
Well 2014 is here and wedding planning is in full swing. Honestly, I don’t know how everyone makes it look so easy. I have been eaten alive by wedding planning. I pretty much go to work, and then come home and work on the wedding. And sometimes on the way home I spend 45 minutes talking to my family or vendors about the wedding.
It’s a lot but so far I’m having fun. To be candid, I don’t think I’m very good at making decisions. I tend to go back and forth a lot which is not helping my planning work load. Hah! Josh and I have made some solid progress though and he is a huge help and really wants to be involved which I just love. It is our wedding after all.
Major things we have done:
- Booked a reception venue
- Put two churches on hold
- Booked a DJ
- Booked a Photographer
- Met with one florist
- Scheduled a meeting with another florist
- Narrowed down the bridesmaid dresses
- Started our Save-the-Dates
- Picked wedding colors
Guys, the holidays are here in D.C.!
Right now, I’m on my lunch break from work, my roommate and I are sitting in pjs at our kitchen table. Picture laptops, christmas music, evergreen candles, our pretty little tree, and soft snow falling outside of the window. Yep that’s right, it’s lovely in here.
Now that it’s finally feeling like Christmas and snow is dusting everything I can see, I wanted to share my new favorite chili recipe with you.
Josh and I made this stunner for our parents when we hosted them for dinner a few weeks ago to talk about wedding venues. It was SO EASY and SO GOOD. And even better, you can put it all into a crockpot and then call it a day, watch Love Actually + White Christmas for a movie marathon and when you’re done it’s done. Winning.
Before I get into the recipe I also wanted to share a little love update. Josh and I are happily progressing in our wedding planning and now that we have the date and the venue other wonderful things are starting to fall into place. We have a DJ, photographer and florist that we are really excited about and I’m starting to really build my vision for our wedding over here too.
Now I just need Josh to create his own Pinterest board. 🙂
ALSO our engagement (I’m crying just thinking about it) was featured on Traci J. Brooks Photography as well as Capitol Romance! I cannot even begin to thank Bree and Traci for this wonderful honor. It still feels like a bit of a dream in these parts so seeing our story reach others makes it more real and if you can imagine it, even more happy.
Stay warm out there and as always, please feel free to share wedding, cooking, and holiday tips.
Baby It’s Cold Outside Chili
(based on this recipe)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 giant onion, diced
- 1 normal-sized red pepper, diced
- 6 medium garlic cloves, diced
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 pounds lean ground beef (we got the good stuff at Whole Foods and it made a huge difference)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Shredded cheddar cheese (to top)
- Sour cream (to top)
- Throw the oil, onions, pepper, salt, and garlic into a frying pan and simmer until they are soft. ~10min.
- Then throw in the chili powder and cumin and mix for a minute or two.
- Add the ground beef and cook until it’s no longer pink at all. ~10 min.
- Pour the frying pan mixture into the slow cooker.
- Add everything else except the toppings (cheese, sour cream)
- Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
- Add toppings if you want.
- Eat it and sing Christmas carols. But not with your mouth full.