potter and butler spotlight

Good morning!  Last night as I was updating my Favorites page, I noticed a blog post at Potter and Butler highlighting the beautiful I Belong place card poms that they made for our wedding.

Remember these?

[Photo property of potterandbutler.com]

I’ve been raving about these girls, Emily and Carrie, since the package of poms arrived on my doorstep.  Their lovely products include cupcake toppers, garlands, poms, cake wreaths and of course the place card poms.  You can find all of their wares at their Etsy shop or on their beautiful website.

I’m so excited that their poms were part of our big day, you can check out their post about our wedding here.

If you need any cheer or merriment added to your celebrations, these are the girls to turn too.  Their products are adorable, inspirational and so much fun.

I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again…

Who are your favorite handmade or Etsy vendors?  

wedding picture sneak peek

Now that most of my family has seen it, I want to share our wedding photo sneak preview with all of you.

Our wedding was a wonderful, special day for us and Todd and I loved every minute.  I love weddings and ours was no exception.  I plan to write a series on the wedding in the future but for now we’re going to enjoy our honeymoon while you enjoy our pictures.  It was an amazing day and our photographer, Theresa Kemink of TAK photography did an amazing job of capturing the details, the joy of the day and our love for each other.

For the photo preview click here.

And thank you to everyone for all of the love and congratulations.  Getting married is a big deal and all of the support has been fantastic – we’re overwhelmed and blessed by it.

my bachelorette party in pictures

My bachelorette party was yesterday.

Peach Jell-o shots are my new favorite, awesome contribution Mary!

This amazing spread was there to greet us in Chicago.

Em even made my favorite, pineapple pizza!

She decorated with pictures my friends sent her.  It was such a fun display to look at!

And she made sure everyone had a little gift.  Softlips is the best!

And she ordered empanadas as part of our Argentine feast at Tango Sur.

The food was amazing.  Just as good as the food we always ate in Argentina.  Chicken, ravioli and steak – beyond delicious.

Then we hit the bars.

And danced the night away.

What a great group of girls to say goodbye to singlehood with.

And then this morning…

We brunched.  Another fantastic meal.  Notice the Nutella on my pancake.  Heaven.

Thank you Emily for throwing an amazing bachelorette.  Every single thing was perfect and every detail so well thought out.  It was everything I could have hoped for.  I’m so grateful to my sister and all of my friends who took the time to travel to Chicago and celebrate with me.  I loved every minute.

If this weekend was any indication of how much fun we’re going to have at the wedding, I can hardly wait.  It’s going to be a riot.

What are some of your favorite memories with friends?


surprise potluck

Today at work my co-workers surprised me with a surprise potluck.  I walked into the office and it was decorated with a “Congratulations Kate” banner.

I was so surprised!  I also had to ask to make sure that it was for me and not a royal wedding celebration that I had forgotten about.    On top of that I was quickly informed that we were also having a potluck and a few people even gave me some gifts.  It was so sweet and completely unexpected.  I was really touched, it’s sweet that people wanted to surprise me and have a special day in my honor.

The potluck was fantastic and delicious.  My department really gets food right.  It helps that our department is so international, people always bring in yummy dishes from their native countries.  I really wish I had taken a picture of the whole spread, it was substantial.

I did manage to take a shot of the sopa de lenteja that one co-worker brought in.  Lentil soup with fresh pineapple, cheese and cilantro.  I was skeptical but it was delicious.

As if all of the food, decorations and gifts weren’t enough, when I was getting ready to go back to my desk, Todd came walking through the door!  Even he had been in on the surprise for weeks!  Needless to stay, I didn’t go back to my desk right away and sat and chatted with and my co-workers as they filtered in and out.

It was such a wonderful surprise and a great way to end the week.

Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you?

Do you like surprises or prefer to be in the know?

hip hip hooray!

I’m so happy I got out of bed to watch the royal wedding.  I love the pomp and circumstance, the age old traditions and the respect the royals and public show for them.  I love the millinery and the regalia.

As I saw on a spectators sign, hip hip hooray!  Congratulations, William and Kate – Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.  Thanks for sharing your wedding with us.

Now I just need to find myself a few page boys, a way to book this boys choir and a great milliner and I’ll be all set for my own nuptials next weekend.

Did you watch the royal wedding this morning?

What was your favorite part?

wedding program party

On Tuesday some of my bridesmaids met me at my parents’ to help me assemble our wedding programs.  I am totally enamored with our programs.  Ellie at Hello Tenfold designed them for me and they are just gorgeous, everything I wanted.  It’s always hard for me to choose between beautiful things and Ellie made it easy by offering to make four different program covers.  They are all beautiful and she was so great to work with.  If you’re in the market for beautiful stationery, I’d highly recommend her.

It was really nice to get together with the girls.  Not all of my bridesmaids know each other really well since I know them from different parts of my life (family, high school, college) so it’s nice when we all spend time together.  Of course we ate as we worked and enjoyed some pizza and a plate of the oatmeal chocolate chunk toffee cookies I made on Sunday.

We got everything set up and went to work tying the programs together.  Look at all of these colors together, so pretty!

My friends, Pam, Jennie and Jennifer were such fast workers that it barely took us any time at all.

By the time my parents came home we were done.  I’m so grateful for their help, it would have taken me ages alone!

Thanks again for helping bridesmaids and thanks to Ellie for your gorgeous work!

What DIY tasks did you do for your wedding?


one a penny, two a penny

As you know I had a half day of work today and it was everything I hoped it would be.  Todd picked me up from work at 1:00 and I was greeted with lunch from Panera.  After scarfing down a half Tomato Mozzarella Panini, I got to work on a hot cross bun.

I honestly didn’t think that these buns existed out side of the nursery rhyme but lo and behold, there they were on Panera’s menu, how could I resist?  Thankfully, our location had them and Todd picked one up for me.  The bun was delicious and yeasty and good but my favorite part (no surprise here) was the cross of frosting on the top.

After eating our lunches quickly in the car we had a successful meeting with the event coordinator  at the Grand Rapids Art Museum and then headed over to the county clerk’s office to apply for a marriage license.  It was quick and easy and we can pick up the license on Monday.  We’re allowed to get married, phew!

We made a quick stop to re-sign our lease and then went our separate ways.  I stopped by my favorite book store, Schuler Books and picked up a few new reads and a few small gifts for my flower girls.

I went to my parents’ house after that and sat down and next thing I knew, I was taking a nap.  It was heavenly.  I didn’t wake up until my dad got home from work.  Fortunately, that was before I had to meet my mom to go pick up my wedding dress.  Unfortunately when we went to pick up my dress it didn’t quite fit right so I have to wait another week to take my dress home but it looks pretty amazing and I’m really happy with how it’s coming together.

After the fitting my mom and I met my dad for dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse and we had a darn good meal.

Steak, veggies, mashed potatoes and macaroni to share?  Yes, please.

When I got back to my parents’ I went through some old photos in search of some good shots for our wedding photo display.  I found some gems.

There were certainly a ton of some more embarrassing shots too.  Oh 90s, you were something else.

I enjoyed my little afternoon off so much!  It felt like a mini-weekend and it was so needed.  My next break will be for the wedding and honeymoon and that is just beyond!

How was your day?

How do you spend your days off?

half day work day

I am couting down the hours to 1:00.  Usually that’s my lunch time but today I’m looking forward to it as quitting time.  I took a half day today to get some things done and I couldn’t be more excited.  I’ve been looking forward to today all week and I’m so excited that I can barely stand it – I feel like a little kid!

After leaving here I’m going to meet with the Event Coordinator at the GRAM, our wedding reception venue.  When we’re done there, Todd and I will go to the courthouse to get our marriage license before going to re-sign the lease for our new apartment (the first time we went to sign it the landlord’s printer was broken so our original lease is a little bootlegged).  I’ll probably run a few more errand after that and then I’m meeting my mom so we can go pick up my wedding dress from the tailor’s house.

What a fun, busy and productive afternoon this will be!  Plus, I’m really glad for the mental health day.  The last time I had a day off was in early February when a blizzard hit and my boss let me have a snow day.  Other than that I haven’t had any time off since New Year’s Day and this little break is much-needed. 

Just 2 hours and 17 minutes to go!  Woo hoo!

Do you take mental health days?

blog love

After work the snow had cleared and I was happy to walk out into a beautiful spring day.

I headed over to Biggby Coffee where I had a great meeting with our wedding photographer, Theresa Kemink, talented owner of TAK Photography.  She does such great work and I’m so excited that she’s shooting our big day.  Her photos are amazing but she doesn’t seem to take her self too seriously.  You should really check out her blog, it’s good stuff.

After the meeting I headed to the Funky Buddha for a very sweaty and intense power yoga class.  I definitely sweated out some toxins today although my tummy wasn’t feeling to great because I had a snack beforehand.  Note to self: no matter how much I love chocolate chip cookies and lemonade, they must wait until after hot yoga.

Delicious but dangerous.

Anyways, other than that I was going to write a post about…something but I don’t feel like I have much to say right now.  Thankfully, other bloggers seem to be much more inspired that I am so I’ll refer you to them.

1) Kelly at Laughter, Food and Strength, one of my favorites, posted a recipe for Mini Italian Frittatas today.  I want to make these right now and would if I had the energy, and the eggs.  But honestly, I often think bloggers make things that look delicious but I know that I’ll never make them but these frittatas are going directly to my “to-make” list.  Yum!

2) Jess at In My Healthy Opinion seems to be on the same page as me a lot, it’s kind of strange, actually.  She’s got some great simple goals posted and they’re exactly the things I always mean to work on.  Soon though, soon.  Even better, she’s posted a link to a hilarious site featuring the 65 Sketchiest Easter Bunny photos.  My favorites are numbers 28, 45 and 53.  Hilarious.  Thanks for sharing, Jess!

3) I discovered Girl Meets Life over the weekend and I’m loving it. Her tagline is “celebrating the simple things”, a concept I can definitely get behind.  I get really excited about the little things so I can totally relate.

4) Allie at Live, Laugh, Eat wrote an entire post about pineapple.  Pineapple is hands down my favorite fruit (sorry grapefruit) and I think it makes everything taste better and makes me smile.  Sometimes I overdo it and it gives me canker sores too but I always go back to it.  I respect any blogger who posts all about pineapple, plus she seems great and is darn cute.

In short, thank you other bloggers for being great so I don’t have to be!

What are some of your favorite blogs?

What’s your favorite topic to see covered on other peoples’ blogs?

hmp: lunchtime burgers

The Homemade Meal Project is back!  After having no time to cook anything for what seems like weeks, we finally made a full homemade meal.  Granted it was just burgers but we still cooked it from start to finish.

After a very sweaty and intense yoga session, I called Todd and said “I want meat.”.  He obliged and ran to the store to pick up some lean ground beef and by the time I got home, the burgers were on the grill and he had a potato and veggie mixture cooking on the stove.

The potato and veggie mix was actually a frozen mix that I picked up yesterday, one of Alexia‘s new products – or at least new to me.  I’m confused as to whether Alexia product are organic or not, I thought they were but it may be that only some of their products are organic.  Either way, they’re all “natural”, whatever that means, and that’s always a good start.

I had also bought a few ears of corn so I popped those on the grill and about 15 minutes later, we were sitting down to a grilled lunchtime feast.

I always douse my burgers in ketchup because I’ve never liked any other toppings on my burgers.  This time, I attempted to make a smiley face with my ketchup but it came out looking a bit demonic, sorry about that.

For dessert I had a mini cupcake leftover from last night’s half-birthday surprise.

I allowed myself a post-lunch nap and now we’re just sitting around waiting for paint to dry.  Literally.  We’re working on our one and only try DIY project for the wedding and so far, it’s not so promising.  Hopefully it turns out wonderful and beautiful though.  Keep your fingers crossed!

What do you top your burgers with?