Monday, September 30, 2013

my birthday & new jersey bridal shower.

can you believe it's the last day of september?!
i can - happy birthday to me!!
my man is taking me out to dinner at fiola
in dc tonight and i can't wait to celebrate.
i think 28 will be a fabulous year!

last weekend i went to new jersey
where my mom and bridesmaids threw me a "tea time" bridal shower
 with my side of the family.
(see my virginia shower here)
it was at the brownstone
(yes, that brownstone from real housewives of nj. ive been going there for family events ever since i was little)
and it was beautiful. 
and i miss my friends and family already.
can't wait for october 26th!

thanks, whit for the last pic :)

have a beautiful week!

don't be shy

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

taking stock.

thank you, the daybook for this idea. 

it's officially fall and i'm not mad about it.

making: time for myself. these last few weeks have been crazy and the next month is going to be really insane. i'm making sure i set aside "erica" time and enjoy the little things.
cooking: my go-to grass-fed beef burger bowl. the boy is out of town on business and this is about the only thing i'm comfortable making without burning the apartment down.
drinking: so much tea. fall weather is here!
reading: the guernsey literary and potato peel pie society. i've been randomly picking it up since july. it's soooo good but i keep getting distracted. i guess that's what a busy summer and approaching wedding will do to ya. 
wanting: a wedding day without rain. DO YA HEAR ME, RAIN GODS?!
looking: at the leaves changing outside my window. fall foliage is happening here in northern virginia and i loves it.
playing: drake "hold on we're going home" on repeat. seriously, i don't even know why but this is my jam right now. 
wasting: time in the morning. i've been so sluggish lately. 
sewing: this is a joke, right?
wishing: the dog next to us would just stop barking at all hours of the day. the joys of working from home, i guess.
enjoying: my weeknights. i'm making more of an effort to unplug after work and i'm sort of liking it. 
waiting: for the rest of our rsvp's to come. people realllllly want to make my life harder and wait until the last minute, don't they? 
liking: my hair. i've started a coconut oil hair mask routine about 2 times a week and it's been so soft and shiny and fluffy and smells delish.
wondering: when all my damn shows are going to start back up again. i'm happy the voice is back, but where's everything else?!
loving: the flowers the boy got me. just because.  
hoping: for a beautiful & sunny weekend. it's jam-packed with errands, brunch, an engagement party, and a house warming party but on sunday we're going for a hike and wine tasting. ya know, for my birthday.
marveling: at jersey drivers. i think i've lived in virginia for too long because holy moly. i got the evil eye from an 80 year old woman for not turning right on red when there was a sign clearly telling me not to. i love my home state but RELAX PEOPLE!
needing: a mani/pedi. i'm waiting until the wedding to get a pedicure but treating myself for a mani on my birthday so my nails stop breaking and grow!
smelling: our new "autumn leaves" candle from bath and body works. it smells like fall and makes me crave pumpkin pie and caramel apples and hot chocolate all day, everyday. 
wearing: chino shorts and a striped sweater. my FAVORITE combo for early fall!
following: the new bethenny frankel talk show. i sort of love it. 
noticing: my first gray hair! i'm really depressed about this. really. i cried.c
knowing: that i turn 28 on monday is sort of depressing and sort of awesome. i feel like it's going to be the best year yet! 
thinking: no more glasses! i got contacts this week and even though my eyes are still adjusting to them, i don't need my glasses anymore!
feeling: lonely. i hate when the boy is away.
bookmarking: winter jackets. i love this one, this one and this one.
opening: boxes from crate & barrel and bed, bath & beyond. i love opening wedding gifts!
giggling: at this video.
feeling: grateful and blessed for all the love and support at my new jersey bridal shower this past weekend. pics to come!

don't be shy

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"i do" wednesday - DIY chair signs

i wouldn't say our wedding is a "DIY wedding".
i'm not much of a "DIYer" to begin with
and i didn't really want to test the waters for my wedding of all things!!

when i saw these cute signs on etsy,
i really wanted them
but i didn't want to shell out over $50.
i mean, that's just highway robbery.
so i decided to make my own for only $11 (!!)

from start to finish 
this project took 2 days
but only because i had some touch ups to make.

it's super easy
it's super cheap
and it's super cute!
it's all around SUPER!

what you'll need:
1. two paint colors of your choice
2. two 6x12 pieces of wood
3. one paintbrush
4. one piece of sandpaper
5. ribbon or string
6. "Mr." and "Mrs." stencils (i found mine for free here!)
7. printer
8. cardstock (2 pieces)
9. x-acto knife
10. drill
11. one foam brush
cost: $11*
*i only had to buy the purple paint ($2), x-acto knife ($2), wood ($6) and foam brush (.99)!
i already had the other materials in my closet. win win!

1. take your paint brush, paint, and signs outside. no one likes a house full of paint fumes. well, some do....
(i purchased the wood at home depot for $6 and asked them to cut it for me. i probably could have found it for cheaper but there were slim pickings that day and i had to grab a giant board. but i'm saving the extra scrap for a future diy project! now i'm all, "look at me! i'm a DIYer!!")

2. start sanding in the same direction as the grain

3. start with your paint base and continue with as many coats as you want. and make sure to get the sides!
i only had to do two coats

4. while your paint is drying, prepare your stencils and print them.
i found this super (geez, i love this word today) cool site online where you can create your own stencil for free! we went with "Mrs." and "Mr." and once i picked the font i printed them out on regular paper just to make sure they would properly fit on the sign. then i printed each on cardstock.

5. once you have your cardstock stencils, use an x-acto-knife to trace and cut your letters.
at this point the white paint should be dry

6. center and tape down your stencils to the wood. grab your foam brush and other paint and start filling them in!
at first i made long strokes with the foam brush but later found that blotting worked best because of the really thin and delicate lines

7. once the paint dries, carefully remove the stencil!
there were some places where the purple paint bled underneath the stencil (that's when we decided to start blotting), so on day two i took a thin paintbrush and touched up the edges

8. drill holes 1 inch from the sides

9. loop in your ribbon or string and voila! 

so, how did i do?!
i was a little frustrated that the purple paint started to bleed during the strokes
and the "M's" aren't exactly the same,
but now i really like that each sign looks a little different.
for someone who isn't very crafty or does a lot of "DIY" projects,
i thought they turned out pretty good!

i'm off to nj on friday morning for my second bridal shower.
i can't wait!!
have a great weekend!

don't be shy

Friday, September 13, 2013

happy friday!

it's friday and
the boy is gone for the weekend at his bachelor party
and i got the place all to myself!
things have been pretty crazy around these parts -
only 43 more days!
so i'm treating myself to the salon this evening
and then meeting a friend
for some drinks and a french dinner.

since next weekend marks the official start of oktoberfest
i'd like to do a nice little flashback friday
and leave you with this...

oktoberfest - munich, germany 2009

you're welcome.
have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

"i do" wednesday - a rehearsal dress.

i'm in need of your help.

i'm thinking of using rent the runway
to find my perfect wedding rehearsal dress
because if i have to purchase one more white dress
that i'll most likely never wear again,
i might barf.

plus, this gives me the perfect opportunity
to try out their website!
(i always forget about it)

here are a few dresses that recently caught my eye...
so let me know what you think!

my favorite right now is this kate spade bow dress
because it's kate spade
(my wedding shoes are kate spade)
but is it too whimsical? 

this next one is blush
and i love me some blush.
it's sparkly, too
which you can't really tell from the pictures -
and how fun is sparkles?!
but this style/fit of a dress
typically makes me look boxy.
and i'm not trying to look 
like a man on my wedding weekend!

and finally, the standard white/lacey dress
perfect for any wedding-related activity.
i like this one because
it's feminine and delicate
and the skirt looks flowy and fun.
but, it might be too much lace for my liking.

which one would you wear to your wedding rehearsal?
which one should I WEAR?!

don't be shy

Monday, September 9, 2013

end of summer.

an afternoon at the brewery // shredding for the wedding in full effect

latest purchase: honeymoon luggage tags! // grass-fed beef burger bowl #paleo

roaming dupont circle // cooling off with my favorite coffee

 just a typical sunday brunch in dc - finishing off 4 bottles of champagne // i love this guy

a lovely surprise from my fiance // working from my balcony on a fall-like morning

our beautiful jalapeƱos. our plant is still flourishing! 

for us, it's oktoberfest every night // coconut milk has changed my world

date night attire-
sweater {target}
sandals {banana republic - old}
purse {urban outfitters - old} 

don't be shy
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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

around the world.

it's no secret that i love to travel.
so if i could take three months off
from my current life
and do anything in the world,
i would clearly travel it!

my wanderlust list gets longer every year
and the boy and i are hopeful 
to make some big trips happen in the near future.
(before any babies or puppies come into the picture - obvi)

so if money was no object
then these are the places i would hit up
on my three month trip around the world:

all photos via my pinterest

of course there are definitely other places on my dream list
like the maldives and china,
but i guess i'll just have to save those places 
for my next three month trip...

a gal can dream, right?


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