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Sunday, October 26, 2014

One Year!


We've been married a year already, and together for nearly seven years. It's surreal how fast the time has gone. Nothing big planned, but it's cool to hit another milestone. Mark has been awesome. While a marriage isn't easy, it's definitely a worthwhile adventure. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New England Plaids


Just a quick update here! Mark and I made a trek to New England for a long weekend full of fall foliage, historic sites, and doughnuts galore. My dad even lent me his car, an appropriate burnt orange color, for the trip. :)

I'm heading into a hectic weekend, including a wedding and a funeral on the same day, so check for more next week.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Best of: Photo Booth







It was so difficult to choose my favorite photo booth photos. All of them were so great. Well, it was easy to cut a few, since they provided proof of some of the debauchery that night. Ha.

While some companies provide photo booth services for hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars, I was able to have a photo booth at my wedding for less than 100 bucks!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

DIY Wedding: RSVPs




Mark and I both loved playing Mad Libs growing up. I can't speak for him, but I always had to write "shave" or "poop" every time there was a fill-in-the-blank verb. "Turds" if there was a noun. It made for some silly, immature stories that didn't make much sense.

Anyway, when I saw the Mad Libs RSVP idea on Pinterest during one of my many wedding planning binge sessions, I knew immediately it was something we had to do.

I don't think this project requires much explanation. And unlike a lot of things on Pinterest, this was a very reasonable, doable project. We made the RSVP cards using Adobe InDesign, put four to a page, and had them printed at a local FedEx Store, where they also cut them for a nominal rate.

If I could do it again, I would either use thicker paper or add envelopes for the response cards. We used cardstock paper, which is thicker than printer paper, but something a little more durable would've been more effective. We printed the address on the back side of these cards and added postcard stamps to them. It saved same postage money, but a few of the RSVPs were pretty beat up by the time we got them. There were even one or two mailed that we never received.

My favorite part was getting these back in the mail, and wondering what the mailman thought reading them. It made me eager to run to the mailbox after work everyday. I've always loved getting mail, but this is probably one of the biggest examples of that because I was getting dozens of these responses over the course of a month.

And now, all of the responses are in a photo album we keep in our living room. I think it's better than a guestbook, because people could get creative and cute without having to try too hard or get really cheesy. There were a ton of innuendos and inside jokes. It was much appreciated. It was also nice because people who couldn't be there were still represented.

What I realize now is that maybe this project wasn't as older generation friendly. Family members participated, of course, but it was our high school and college friends that really went running with the Mad Libs idea. For instance, a lot of family members and family friends wrote "walk" down the aisle. Of course we were walking! Perhaps they didn't understand or didn't care to be more creative.

I'm still glad I did it, though.

See some of my favorite RSVPs here.

What are some of the most memorable wedding invitations you've received?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Best of: Wedding RSVPs





* I edited last names out of some of these response cards for the sake of our friends' anonymity.

The best things in life may not be free, but they're often very cheap.

After a few hours of designing and editing, $10 in printing costs, and $20 in postage costs, voila! I made some creative and memorable RSVP cards for my wedding last year. They're rife with personality and inside jokes.

Come back tomorrow to read more about how and why I decided to create Mad Libs RSVP cards.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Horseshoe Curve


According to RailRoadCity.com, when the Horseshoe Curve railroad track in Altoona, Pa. opened in 1854, it was a huge innovation for its time. Once the track opened, people could cross Pennsylvania at practically lightning speed: 15 hours!

Pennsylvania is a wide state, but you can probably drive from border to border in about 5 or 6 hours, present day.

As you can see, I did a little research for this postcard post. I know about the train track because it's local, and it's named after a minor baseball team in that town, but didn't know all of the details about why a railroad track that makes a 180 degree turn had so much fame.

The back of the postcard reads:

World famous Horseshoe Curve showing parking area visited by hundreds of tourists each year, Altoona, Pa.

Because of the topography in Western Pennsylvania being so hilly, traveling in the 1800s was very laborious, especially if trying to cross parts of the state with Appalachian Mountains.

I love the picturesque hills and trees of the region, but it still sometimes is a pain in the ass to get around. Haha. Pittsburgh is known not only for its bridges (rumor has it that Pittsburgh is home to more bridges than Florence, Italy), but for its tunnels and great scenic views, mostly because of the hills here.

I picked this postcard up in an antique shop last summer, I think, not far from where Altoona is located. I loved it because of the beautiful foliage; autumn is my favorite season. And the old cars in the photo are great. With the cars, my guess is the picture was probably taken in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

This is also the first postcard I decided to buy, eventually sparking this feature and my ridiculous postcard collection. We'll also be going through Altoona on an upcoming train trip Mark and I have planned. How exciting, right??

Are there any weird historical innovations that are known in your town or region?

Monday, October 13, 2014

All I Want

I've wanted a leather jacket for the longest time. There's something inherently bad ass and timeless about having one, and a finally found the perfect one (albeit faux leather) while shopping at the local outlet mall.



The best part was it was marked $180 retail and I only paid 40 bucks! Outlet shopping can be the best sometimes.

The jacket turned out to be perfect for this particular day, because it was so damn cold. Apparently it had reached the 40s for the first time this season. I'm definitely in my happy place during the fall and spring, climate wise, so I want that cool (but not too cool) weather to last as long as humanly possible.

I have always loved asymmetrical zippers, too. And the color of the jacket is more like a charcoal than I straight-on black. Are you drooling yet over this jacket yet? Because I am. Haha.




Outfit: Dress, Gabe's; jacket, Wilson's Leather; tights, H&M; boots, Modcloth.

Mark took photos in my parents' backyard again, so the dinosaur pose was necessary. This might just become a thing every time we decide to shoot there.

I don't know. I guess fall is short-lived, but I love it all. I love wearing tights, like a weirdo, I adore wearing boots, I love warm drinks, I love the colors. I am just hoping to take it all in for as long as I can!

What are some of your fall must-have wardrobe items?

Friday, October 10, 2014

DIY Wedding: Escort Cards

The end of October marks my first wedding anniversary, and I'm commemorating it by sharing some of of the DIYs and projects I did leading up to the wedding. Hope you enjoy this week's project: Escort cards!


Ah, fall foliage is definitely the best part of the season, in my opinion. (Despite popular belief, pumpkin-flavored everything isn't.) The colors of the leaves are so rich, so beautiful. It's particularly beautiful in western Pennsylvania, where there are many lush trees and rolling hills.

I thought these cards brought something a little more unique than the typical card, and could potentially be used as a keepsake later. I became inspired when I saw escort cards that were actual leaves with a metallic calligraphy on each. I thought it was beautiful until I imagined a swift wind blowing through the room. So I decided to compromise.

The process to make them was fairly simple.

First, pick your leaves! My parents have a ton of trees in their backyard, so it's basically a gold mine for leaves. I tended to pick smaller, brighter ones.

Then, find a nice old, book you don't care about too much. Preferably hardback. Pat leaves dry, if they're wet, and place a leaf between every few pages. Then stack some heavy items on top of that book and wait! I would say wait three days to a week to get your best pressed leaves results. By the time they're done, they should be dry and flat, but not too brittle.

I used Adobe InDesign to write out names and table numbers, fitting eight names to a page. This also can be done on Word or any other text-based program, but was a little easier on InDesign because the text can be easily aligned and centered.

Once those names were printed on stock paper and cut, I glued each leaf to a card using rubber cement. I opted for the cement because I thought it would hold up better. And voila! Escort cards with flair.

Escort cards cost:

Cardstock, $10; leaves, FREE!

Total: Around $10

What kinds of projects have you used for pressed leaves?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Pressing Matter


Why not use a natural resource when crafting? I recently pressed some leaves I found in my parents' backyard. Being the weirdo I am, I scanned them onto my computer (results above) and they'll be forever remembered as beautiful! It's crazy the difference in color, shape, texture in the leaves, and all laying just a few feet from one another.

I also pressed leaves from the yard last year, and incorporated them into a wedding-related craft.

See what I did with them tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Souvenir of Pittsburgh, Penna




















While perhaps not as exciting as my other Pittsburgh postcard collection, this is still a pretty cool set. It's not as exciting because 1.) It's newer (from 1941, vs. the other one, from 1914) and 2.) Mark bought it on Etsy for my birthday.

However, it does include photos featuring some of the city's world-class charm, including a few of the city's many bridges, my college alma mater, Duquesne University. That's also where Mark and I met. :)

It is sorta like the other set, in that it's according style, with all the postcards connecting to one another, and postcard photos are printed on both sides.

That first postcard threw me off a bit, because there totally aren't any traffic circles here now. And I'm so thankful for that, because I think I have a heart attack every time I drive through one of those.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Take me Home, Country Roads



Outfit: Sweatshirt, vintage, found at flea market; shoes, Marshalls; shorts, Old Navy; tights, H&M.

Just a quick outfit post to hold you all over. ;)

I wore this when Mark and I went to Morgantown the other weekend (home of West Virginia University). I felt a little bit like a poser because I never actually attended WVU; Mark went to grad school there. We have some good friends completing their PhDs there, so basically they're trapped in West Virginia until the end of time. Ha. Just kidding.

I found the sweatshirt at Trader Jack's a few weekends prior and could not pass it up. It was in mint condition, no cracks on the screen printing, bright and beautiful, so probably never worn. I could've haggled, but instead just grabbed it and paid 5 bucks.

I honestly used to loathe Morgantown, because Mark and I were doing a moderate distance relationship when he was in grad school. I visited him almost every weekend for a year and a half. We lived about 75 miles away from one another; that's why I call it a moderate distance rather than a long distance relationship.

But anyway, the place has really grown on me now. I don't know if I would've enjoyed being a student there, since there's a hardcore party culture among undergrads, but the town has a charm all it's own. It's also a beautiful drive.

And fun fact: "Take Me Home, Country Roads" by John Denver is the unofficial state song. It's a beautiful song, but rumor has it Denver had never even been to West Virginia.

Another fun fact/rumor: the song "Morning Morgantown" by Joni Mitchell is supposedly about Morgantown, WV. I've really been getting into Joni, lately. She has such an goosebump-inducing voice.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

DIY Wedding: Save the Dates

Just a quick note: October marks my first wedding anniversary, and I'm commemorating it by sharing some of of the DIY's and projects I did leading up to the wedding. Hope you enjoy this week's project: Save the dates!


Usually they're magnets, but it seems like no matter what, save the dates are always the same. So and so are getting married! There is a floral print, a script font, a pair of doves. But no. That simply didn't reflect my personality nor Mark's.

OK, so save the dates aren't that big of a deal. They're not even really a wedding requirement. But these little guys were definitely fun to make.

This project was a little bit of trial and error. A friend had screen printed save the dates, so I guess I got the idea from her. I got my friend Laura to sketch up some things, and we ended up picking the tree and a ketchup bottle. (For those of you who don't know, the Heinz plant originated in Pittsburgh. You can still read Pittsburgh on the label if you ever come across a bottle or a packet.)

And here's what a couple of the final projects looked like:



Laura potentially could've sketched up 50 of these, but instead, opted for another method: The almighty screen print!

I know screen print stations can be made at home, but since I've only screen printed things a handful of times, and I'm usually a pretty messy person as it is, I decided to go to a screen print shop to get them done.

Artists Image Resource, a Pittsburgh shop, has open evenings to use the studio and get some assistance. It's as simple as putting the image on a transparency, screening the image, and cutting to proper size, like so:





Yay! At this point, this is where the idea to use the watercolors came in. Mark and I had painstakingly chose a color to screen print with, a rust colored paint, but it didn't quite pop as expected. But we didn't fret. The guy who helped us screen print actually suggested the watercolors, so we went with that. It was a little time consuming, but in the end, every person got their own, unique card.

So once all of that was done, I addressed the back and sent them in the mail! Simple as that. :)

Save the date cost:

Cardstock, $10; Screen printing rental/assistance at AIR, around $30; Watercolors, $5; Postage, at 21 cents each x 60, $12.50;Help of friends, love.

Total: Around $60

Do you have a favorite save the date you've received from a friend or family member?