Baby it's cold outside...

Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's 42 degrees in Madison, Alabama tonight and I'm actually enjoying it! I'm sitting here sipping hot tea while my pecan pie mini muffins are baking in the oven. In the background, I hear football on the TV in the other room. It so feels like Fall!!!

{Note:  I did not break down and buy the Williams-Sonoma acorn pan, but I did go to Walmart to purchase a mini cupcake pan for $4!}

In the spirit of cooler weather and Halloween, Mr. CF and I went to a little pumpkin patch today and purchased some very nice pumpkins. I am a new Alabama resident and it's an amazing feeling to go to a local farm (about 2 miles down the road) to buy pumpkins. The man was so nice and even gave us some sweet potatoes and one pumpkin for free! Such a great experience!

We came home and got to work! Here is my finished product:

I think my cat came out so cute and it was very easy. In case you'd like to make one next year, here are the steps I took:

What to buy - 2 pumpkins (1 large & 1 medium), 1 gourd, 1 can of black glossy spray paint, 1 sheet of orange felt, 1 sheet of black felt, 1 package of sticky rhinestones. You can find these items at Walmart and Michaels.

  • Cut stems off your pumpkins then spray them (and your gourd) with black spray paint. Let dry.
  • Cut a hole in the back of the medium sized pumpkin and clean out the guts.
  • Cut eyes into your medium sized pumpkin.
  • Cut two "ears" out of your black felt and line them with sticky rhinestones. Get creative!
  • Cut a "collar" out of your orange felt and design it with sticky rhinestones.
  • Arrange your pumpkins so they form a cat and then affix the ears and collar using straight pins.
  • Put a candle in your cat's head and you are done!

Happy Halloween!

(P.S. Can you spot Mr. CF's pumpkin in the background?!)


Friday, October 29, 2010

So as you may know from reading my blog, I am engaged! Mr. CF is SO creative, thoughtful, and loving and his proposal reflected those traits beautifully. August 20, 2010 was an amazing day and I will never forget it.

To celebrate, my mom threw us an engagement party in Florida. We had already planned a trip to Orlando to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in early September so it was perfect timing! My mom chose a great restaurant in downtown Winter Park and decided that our party would take place on a Sunday morning and that brunch would be served. I loved the idea!

Below are some of the DIY projects I completed for the party:

Birdcage Card Box and Homemade "Cards" Sign!

Favor Box - Filled with a "Love is Sweet" note and Ferrero Rocher candies!

Some favors had this cute monogram on them (get yours here)
and others had Martha Stewart flower stickers (previous picture).

We had these napkins printed here and they came out great!

Gourmet Cupcakes from Serendipity Sweets in Orlando, Florida. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
My sister bought these for us!

I made these cupcake flags using scrapbook paper, clear beads, and toothpicks (all purchased at Michaels)!

LOVE the bling!

The happy couple! {Photo by The Real Life Mom}

What DIY projects did you take on for your engagement party, shower, or wedding?

Mini Muffins!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm still alive, I just haven't been thinking about the wedding lately! I raced at the Head of the Charles this past weekend (it's a rowing race) and had an amazing time celebrating Fall in the Northeast. It was in the 40's and the trees were so colorful! I got to spend time with some very good friends of mine, some of which I have known for 13 years! We raced, shopped, drank tea and wine while sitting by the fire, and ate Pecan Pie Mini Muffins!!!!! Let's just say I am obsessed! My dear friend Linda's sister, Barbara, made them for us in her cute "Acorn Cakelets Pan" from Williams-Sonoma. They were amazing!!!!

So when I got home, of course I ran to Williams-Sonoma to get the pan. But they don't have them anymore! I thought "NO PROBLEM!!! I'll just get it on eBay!!!" but those sellers on eBay must know how popular this pan is because they are selling them for an arm and a leg ($40!!!).

What's a pecan pie mini muffin lover to do???????????????????????

Well, I haven't decided yet because I'm pretty sure Mr. CF would raise his eyebrows at me if he finds out that I want to spend $40 on a cake pan that I can only use in one season, especially since every penny we save is for the wedding. And, I can't say I'd blame him!

For now, I will share the recipe for those of you who are lucky enough to own this adorable pan, or those of you who do not need them to look like acorns in order to enjoy them.

We can all thank Barb later!

Pecan Pie Mini Muffins

1 cup finely diced pecans
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup melted butter
2 large eggs

Spray mini muffin pan (don't use paper cups).
Bake at 350 degrees for 17-18 minutes.
Cool 5 minutes on wire rack, then lift them out of pan to further cool on rack.
Makes exactly 24.

You can never have too many dresses!

Monday, October 18, 2010

As you all know, I already purchased my wedding gown and received a ship date, January 29th!!!!!!! I can't wait to try it on again :) As I try to contain my excitement about my gown, I have been trying to distract myself. How, you ask? By thinking about my reception dress! I always knew I'd get one and now the time has come for me to actually start looking. I plan on staying in my gown throughout our ceremony (of course) and the first two hours or so of our reception. Then, when it's time to dance the night away (did you all know that I started to dance once I met Mr. CF?) I will change into something more comfy!

I realize that reception dresses are becoming more trendy these days. Have you seen Carrie Underwood's reception dress by Monique Lhuillier?


Due to their growing popularity, I have noticed that a lot of the big bridal designers are starting to come out with "reception gowns". This makes me mad because they try to sell you a ceremony gown for $4,000 and now they're charging $1,500 for reception gowns. Huh???? Who can afford that?! {Not Me}

Don't worry though...I have a plan and a back-up plan! The plan is to buy something cute and appropriate "off the rack" from a big department store, BCBG, or something lik that. The back-up plan is to order a bridesmaid dress in a light color. Notice that I said light, not white. This is important because the designers have realized that brides are doing this so they now charge more for white bridesmaid dresses. Give us a break!!!

Here are some beautiful (and affordable) options I found while searching online:

{BCBG - bloomingdales}

{Jessica Simpson - Nordstrom}

{Sue Wong - bloomingdales}


What do you think? Did you change into a reception gown or getaway dress? 

Sneak Peek - Save the Dates!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tonight I am excited to share with you a sneak peak of one of my very first do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, our Save the Dates! Although I cannot show you the finished product (because they have not been sent to our family & friends yet), I am going to show you some of the tools and supplies I used to make them. These save the dates have been a true labor of love and I have been working on them for almost two months! I ended up making 80 of them and they will be sent out to nearly 135 families/individuals. Next month I will dedicate an entire post to this project, outlining the steps necessary to make them. Until then...enjoy!

{Rhinestone Brads}

{Pink Ribbon}

{Fiskars Corner Punch}

{Glassine Bags & Brown Kraft Envelopes}

{Custom Address Stamp from Note Trunk}

{Close-up Address Stamp from Note Trunk}

{Custom Labels from BLJ Graves Studio}

{Custom Labels from BLJ Graves Studio}

{My work area aka our formal living room which doesn't get used}

What DIY projects did you decide to take on while planning your wedding?

To Bouquet or Not to Bouquet?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Five years ago I read an article in Vogue Magazine which featured the wedding of Donald Trump and Melania Knauss and I remembered something she did not do and also something that she said. She did not carry a bouquet and when questioned about her decision by the interviewer, she asked "why should I, because everyone else is carries one?" I loved the fact that she had this huge lavish reception, but that she kept her church ceremony simple (as far as Trump standards go). She had no bridesmaids (her sister served as her maid of honor), the flowers and decor were minimal compared to what she had at the reception, and she carried a heirloom rosary when she walked down the aisle. She really kept the ceremony focused on the marriage, and I greatly admired that and wanted to do the same.

{Fast forward to today}

The time I most look forward to on August 13th is the 7 o'clock hour. That is when our marriage (and full Mass) will take place and, to me, that will be the more important part of the day. My number one priority when starting to plan our wedding was securing the church, and that was the first thing Mr. CF and I decided on and booked. Like Melania, I do not want to do anything decor wise that is going to compete with the natural beauty of our love. Therefore, there will be minimal decor.

So, here's my dillema. My original plan was to carry my mother's prayer book with my grandmother's rosary around it as I walk down the aisle. But I can't help feeling like "I should" carry a bouquet. After all, that is what every bride does and there are SO many beautiful bouquets out there. I'm thinking about sticking to my original plan for the ceremony and then having a small bouquet to carry for pictures.

What do you think?


Or this:

Or both?

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

These definitely speak for themselves!