Saturday, August 20, 2011

{M+D} Reception

Life has been so crazy, I have hardly had time to think about the wedding! Ok, that is a total lie, but I haven't had as much time to write about it. So when last we left our wedding posts, we had just finished cocktail hour. Next up, reception!

I want our reception to be FUN. I want people to have things to do, things to eat, music to dance to, and pictures to take! So, this post is just going to be an overview, and I will try to do more specific aspects soon!

In the decision making zone: I think I have bridesmaids dresses and I know I have invitations/save the dates! Yay! As soon as I get into the swing of things with school I will start on the DIY process. If you know me, you know I can't procrastinate, so I will have things ready way in advance!

So without further ado... the reception:

What do you think makes a good reception?!?

Saturday, August 13, 2011


So I am still getting all settled into my room and trying to make it homey! I wanted a fun piece of furniture to give me more storage, but also be fun!

I am told that this lovely white bookshelf has been in Sarah's room for a long time. Like since she was a baby (there were a few stray crayon marks on it to provide evidence!) So while, functional, I wanted it to be fun too! 

I would love to be the most crafty person in the world and be able to make all sorts of fun things, but generally I am not. I have never painted furniture and my sister is the more crafty one, but I did a lot of research and jumped into it! 

I went to Lowe's and bought primer, a paint sample, sand paper, and a few paintbrushes. I found some cute paper at Michael's and I was off to work!

I painted the bookshelf a pretty light blue color and the background was a cute paper! Here is how it turned out:

I think it turned out really well!! I did make one small mistake- 10 points to you if you can find it! Here it is with some more stuff on it:

Functional and cute- Im pretty proud!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Big Move!

*If you are wondering the results of the poll, I will get to them soon! Once I get settled in the house and at school, wedding mode will continue!*

Saturday, Mom and I moved from Winchester to Fredericksburg. We had A LOT of furniture, boxes, clothes, and everything else. The truck went from this:

To this:

It was was full before we knew it. Luckily we got everything in! We also had more furniture in Winchester. Needless to say we had a lot of stuff- and a lot of big stuff at that. If it wasn't for the AMAZING help of 6 wonderful Marines, we never would have made it. We would still be trying to get stuff in to the truck. The guys were so fast, so sweet, and so good! I (and Dan!) owe them big time!

And they are pretty cute too!

Once these wonderful guys moved tons of furniture, I was left with this:
Cozy, right?
So, off I went organizing all of my stuff, attempting to find homes for all of it. By the end of the day we were here:

Everything at least somewhat had a place! I still needed some more storage (a bookshelf make over to come in another post), and all of my school stuff needs to find a home. I didn't acquire sheets until the next day, and I am still in need of a dust ruffle! However, art has been ordered for the bare walls, and a little plant action for some life. So, hopefully, it will all be together by the end of the week! Well, maybe not the dust ruffle...

It is very nice to be back in Winchester, however. No more Route 3! It is easy to get places! And I get to run into people (like the family I babysat for!!!) in Martin's. Barb and Kelley can stop by after jazzercise just to say hi, and other people are just 2 minutes away. FCPS orientation was today and everyone was so nice. I think it's going to be a good year : )

Friday, August 5, 2011

{M+D} My First Wedding Purchase + Your Opionion...

I have been meaning to go to IKEA for about 3 weeks now, but with the craziness of life, just got there yesterday. Besides falling in love with furniture and buying exciting things like a trashcan and food storage containers, I also made my first wedding purchase!! Yay!

Anybody know where this picture was taken?
While this photo makes it look like I am going to be a mad scientist on my wedding day, I am not. I bought 20 of the vases and the other mystery item for another project. However, today we will focus on the vases. I saw them online and thought they would be great bud vases to use either down the aisle or on some of the tables. I thought I would buy a few. I bought 20. I want more- they are so so so so perfect and cute, and if you clicked on that link you will know that I spent BIG bucks on them. Yup, 79 cents a vase- score!

I attempted to take a good picture of them, alas, I think I failed. BUT, here is my question for you- keep them clear or paint them a glossy white? (There is a poll on the top right of the blog!) And to help your answer, here is some inspiration for both:
White vases

Clear Glass

I would love your opinion- the poll is on the top right of the page!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Hello August

My brand new planner! Love!
I cannot believe that it is August already! This month will bring lots and lots of new things. On Saturday, I am moving back to Winchester- I never thought that I would actually want to live there, but it turns out it is not so bad :) We will be living in town and I am so excited to be near some of my best friends again! Along with the move comes my first real person job. I cannot wait to start school, meet my students, and begin the process of becoming a great teacher!
The beginning of all the planning
August also brings me one month closer to Dan coming home : ) 46 weeks, 323 days and a lot of hours according to Dan. 

So, stay tuned for moving updates, more wedding planning, and adventures of being a Latin teacher at three different schools! Anyone else have any exciting August plans?
Lilly girl will also be making the move! Happy August!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

{M+D} Party Time

What is one of the most important parts to any wedding (especially for the guests?)

The drinks, and in turn, the bar! People stand there, wait there, and mingle there, so I want it to at least have some sort of decoration! Behold, the bar:

I definitely want to have signature drinks (and mine will definitely have a barber straw in it like the first picture). I think they are fun, and gives the bar a little personality. Any guesses as to what ours will be?!?

This is a cute way to let the guests know what is being served.

I love this bar! Just flip that W over and make it an M! Our bar will be more like a normal wedding bar, but I think if dressed up with initials, a cute sign, or some other decoration our guests will have a pleasant bar experience!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

{M+D} Aisle Style

Now that we have heard all about Danny's adventures, back to wedding central! Everyone is dressed (you can check out the boys, girls, and me), and we have a venue, so we have to start decorating! John Wooden said: "...details are vital. It's the little things that make big things happen." I totally agree with this- I think that it will be the little touches that will make the day special, the little things that make you think that is so Madeline and Dan! Or wow, they took the time to think about that! The big picture is important, but it is made up of tons of little details that I want to get right!

So, I want our aisle / ceremony set up to be beautiful! It is the place I will be getting married in after all! I am not quite sure if I want to do anything up where we are getting married-- I need to go see the space again. Basically it is an alter, set up a few steps, and in the corner of the stone wall. Behind it, you can see an old barn. I think that it is beautiful on its own, but I might want something on the steps? Or up on the alter... not sure.

As for the seating, here is my inspiration:

I love the look of the small vases with flowers.

I obviously am not getting married in a space like this, but the beautiful simplicity of the ribbons is wonderful.

The flower petal initial is so so unique!
Source: via Madeline on Pinterest

I love baby's breath used as a focal point instead of a filler. All together it makes such a statement!

Any other good idea for dressing up the aisle? I want something that can be easily moved (since other things will be taking place in the space later) but that also makes the ceremony space special. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Live from Korea Pt. 2

We have a village about 15 minutes from our base. My chain of command started associating with them about two years ago as a way to better our relationship with the locals.  We try to do things with them as much as possible.  I have had the privilege to go over there twice so far.  The first time I went to teach English and play soccer with children ranging from ages 6 to 12.   They are all taught English in school already, but we go and basically just hold conversations with them.  They will ask how to pronounce certain words and sometimes then will describe something and you will tell them what the English word is for that.  For instance, a little boy described a fire hydrant to me.  And I simply just told him what he was thinking about was a fire hydrant.  Not too hard.  I was skeptical at first because I am no teacher like my wonder fiancĂ© is, but I managed to do just fine!  After the long talks we had, we then went outside to play soccer.  Soccer is the most popular sport here in Korea.  I am not too big of a soccer player, but it was still fun to run around and play with the kids : )  The next time I went to pick potatoes with the older kids.  They ranged from the ages of 13-18.  Picking potatoes wasn’t too bad.  It consisted of a lot of bending over, but they figured me out fast and made me the potato sack holder and wheel barrel pusher!  I didn’t mind.  The kids are so grateful for everything they have and I didn’t hear one complain about being out in the heat and picking potatoes.  I guess it is normal to them. They seem to still have fun and joke around while getting the job done as well. It is a good lesson for all of us.

Like I said before I work with the ROK Marines and Korean security guards.  I am the only Marine MP working for 12 hours.  I don’t do much besides patrol the base once an hour and hang out with the gate guards.  Speaking of the gate guards, I have a pretty funny story.  Last week, I went up to the gate to see how the guards were doing.  I was only there for about three minutes until they started talking to me about working out.  I was challenged by two of the guys in a push up contest.  I had to take the challenge, and proceeded to get down in a push up position.  I figured the other two guys would get down as well, but only one did.  The other guy hopped on my back!  The rest of the guards already knew the plan so they thought it was hilarious.  They call me “Mershkin”, so they said “come on Mershkin, do some pushups.”  The man on my back couldn’t of weighed more than 90 pounds, so doing pushups with him wasn’t too big of a problem.  I some how still beat the other guy.  While we were doing that, my Gunnery Sergeant came through the gate, so I quickly popped up.  He didn’t care, and from what I saw he was quite amused as well.  I’m glad I can find a way to amuse the Korean people and bring some excitement to Camp Mujuk.  All in all, my time in Korea has been okay.  Talk to you all soon : )

Monday, July 25, 2011

{Guest Blogger} Live from Korea! Pt. 1


            Hi everyone!  I have now been in Korea for a little over a month.  If time can keep going this fast, I will be home in no time!  Korea has been pretty interesting.  Once I got settled and actually stepped out of the three- mile boundary of Camp Mujuk, I started learning more and more about the Korean culture.  Everyone is always talking about the Korean bbq. I finally had some time off so I went out to see what all the fuss was about.  The two Korean security guards whom invited me out are named Jo-Mik and Mr. Kim.  They took me the best bbq around.  I cannot pronounce the name of the restaurant, but being there was quite an experience.  They sit you down (on the ground), but on a nice comfy blanket type thing around a table.  In the middle of the table is a giant grill (just like you would see at a hibachi restaurant).  They start you off with a bowl of soup.  It is normal for you to share one bowl with a friend.  There were only three of us, so I decided to get my own!  You then chose whether you want your beef or pork marinated or just salted.  We got a little of both so I could try them out.  They bring you a tray of raw meet and you grill it yourself.  The meat also came with white rice and lots and lots of lettuce and condiments such as onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, etc.  I was confused at first because there was no bread, rolls, or anything to put the meat and condiments on.  My friends laughed at me and showed me what to do.  Apparently, when you eat Korean bbq you don’t need bread.  The lettuce is your bread.  You cook the meet, grab a piece of lettuce, throw some onions or whatever on top, then roll the lettuce into a little burrito type thing and shove it all in your mouth.  My opinion- not bad at all!  I don’t like eating bread anyway, too many carbs : )  The bbq was yummy.  I wouldn’t say it was everything it was talked up to be, but I would definitely go again.  

Also during my first cultural experience I learned a couple things as well… (1) You do not pour your own drink.  You offer to pour someone else’s and they pour yours in return.  
(2) The youngest person at the table cooks the food.  It is not a rule, but more of a courtesy thing.  I, however, got away with not cooking because they were showing me the ropes.  
(3) You do NOT use your left hand to give or receive anything.  It is a sign of disrespect.  You simply use your right hand and put your left hand by your right elbow.  If you need two hands then you can use both, but if not, use your right hand only.   
(4) You must know how to use chopsticks.  I never could use these things, but never actually had to either.  Being in Korea it’s a necessity, so I have been practicing! 

Since my base is very tiny, there is no commissary to buy groceries.  Your choices are to either drive an hour and a half to the nearest American Army base or go to E-mart.  E-mart is kind of like a super Wal-mart.  Supposedly there are E-mart’s in the United States, but I have never seen one.  Have you?  I went about a week ago to grab some groceries.  For some reason, I forgot I was in Korea because once I got there I was shocked to see EVERYTHING in Korean.  Side note:  I learned the language is not “Korean” it is called Hangul.  So yes, everything was in Hangul.  I should have expected that!  It wasn’t too hard to find the things I needed, however, I like knowing the nutrition facts of what I am eating.  Obviously I could not read the labels, but I could make out how many calories or “k-cals” here so I was all right.   Luckily, I went equipped with my Korean speaking Lance Corporal.  He saved me from buying goat's milk and eggs that were not from a chicken.  E-mart was a success, but I think I’ll stick to the commissary as much as I can. 

Pt. 2 later today!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Life has been a little crazy lately. It is easy to forget about all the little things that make us happy. So, here is a list of a few things that have made me happy this week (in no particular order):

1. CVS
I bought all of this fun stuff for $8.05, and I got $16 Extra Care Bucks to use towards my next purchase. Regularly it would be $41.73 but I had coupons and Extra Care Bucks. Good deals make me happy.

2. Organization
I bought these fun file boxes from Staples- one for the middle school and one for the high school. This way, the kids have somewhere to turn in papers and I have somewhere to put their returned work and make up work. Now, all I need is to know their names! (I have 50 files in each box, however, I will be very surprised if I have 100 students. In time, thought, I will!)

3. Holly's Sugar Cookies
Mom LOVES Holly's sugar cookies, so when she was here this weekend she made a bunch for us! There are shells, elephants, tutles, sheep, zebras, and giraffes! I tried to help ice them, but as always I am not detail oriented enough for Holly! They turned out very yummy though!

4. Dan!
Dan and I went on our first Skype date this week! We both rented Tangled online and watched it together! It was fun to pretend that he was there watching it with me and the movie was really really cute! It was funny, sweet, fun, and adventurous- I really liked it!
Also, Dan sent me a HUGE box of my favorite candy ever- Crazy Core Skittles! Two Easters ago he made me a big box that says "Madeline's Skittle Stash" and said that it was his job to fill it. Well, it was running very low and to my surprise a huge box arrived! Nothing better than a fiance who watches movies with you from Korea, sends boxes of Skittles, and loves you!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

{M+D} Let's hear it for the girls!

Bridesmaid dresses. To most, it is a horrible phrase. They even made a movie about how bad bridesmaids dresses can be, and mocking the phrase "at least they can wear it again!" I will admit, bridesmaids dress shopping is hard. I want all my girls to look good and they all have different body types, hair colors, skin tones, and styles. I want them to be comfortable and feel beautiful, too! So, what to do, what to do....

My colors are pink, grey, and white. BUT, I feel like the pink is so muted, everyone will be washed out by them.
(These girls are all nice and tan, so it works a little better... but they have no shape, or style really and definitely would not be worn again.)

And grey dresses with grey tuxes, might be grey overload.

These dresses are pretty, and maybe with white on top would give contract to the guys tuxes... but still unsure.

So, what I really want is...pattern!

I love this dress! And it comes in three different styles... but it might be a little bright. My color is a lighter pink, but I definitely want to use different shades to give depth. It could be catigorized under the "fun" aspect of the wedding style, but would probably look a little funny next to a grey tux though... However, I think if we used pattern, we would be able to bring in the pink and white and still look pretty. Any suggestions? I can't seem to find patterned bridesmaid dresses anywhere. Or regular dresses in a pattern I like.

Oh, and I can't forget my little girls! I have the two most adorable flower girls! My inspiration for them is tutus!

Source: via Madeline on Pinterest

Dan's mom owns a dance studio, so Danny grew up dancing, along with his sisters and now my flower girls! I think they would be fun while still be elegant and I know the girls will feel right at home in them. Plus, you can't get much cuter than a tutu!

Monday, July 18, 2011

{M+D} Groom styling

Ok, so we have the venue, you've seen the overall feel I am going for, and the way that I want to look on the day. Next up, the groom! This, in some ways was a little difficult, in others, so easy. Dan, as usual, knew what he wanted. He was wearing a tux. Think black, think James Bond. Done. Well... with all of the soft colors of the wedding and the more relaxed feel, we (okay, I) thought the tux may be too stuffy. But, he is the groom, and this is important to him, so what to do, what to do. Compromise, of course. So, here is the groom (and all the guys!) inspiration:

The compromise, you ask? Grey tuxes! They are softer, but still elegant and beautiful, and still a tux. Hopefully, we will be able to find some beautiful ones. And, of course, fun accessories: a beautiful tie, or maybe all different ties, and fun socks! I LOVE fun socks and Dan and I went knee sock bowling on one of our first dates!

Another knee sock bowling date
So, I think with beautiful grey tuxes and fun accessories the guys will look awesome and ready to dance the night away!