Goodbye Summer

Friday, August 31, 2012

You've been pretty awesome as summers go. I got married, went to Hawaii, moved into a new place, and have had a great time all around. However, we must now part ways to get ready for my favorite season of all - autumn. I'm more than ready for cool nights, cozy sweaters, warm drinks, Packers football, and hearty stews and soups. So here's to you summer, now bring on fall!

Modern American Girl - Changes for Molly

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Changes for Molly

Well, sadly we've come to the end of our American Girl journey. I've had such a blast doing these, and I hope you've enjoyed them! I'll have to figure out what to do next - any suggestions are welcome!

Molly, Molly, Molly, you tried so hard to be what you thought was "pretty" that you made yourself sick and missed the whole dance. But it all turned out in the end because you got to be the first person to see your dad when he came home from the war. As for this set, I was thinking about doing a fun raincoat, but I love this yellow blazer, so we're going for a slightly different interpretation. Red wellies are a must, as is a fun umbrella!

Wedding Wednesday - My Wedding Part 1

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

All images by Kelly Sweet Photography 

We finally got our wedding photos back and I luuuuuv them! Our photographer was Kelly Sweet and she was incredible. I want to post all of them, but there are over one thousand photos, so I'll just stick to two posts - one of getting ready and ceremony and the second of the reception and all the details (many were DIY, I'll be posting tutorials later as well!).

The photographer was a huge decision for Kacey and me. We knew that we wanted someone who would shoot all the little details of the day that we worked so hard on, but also capture the real moments of the wedding itself and the people involved. Kelly came all the way over from Michigan and was absolutely phenomenal. The entire day flew by, but every time I look at these pictures I remember what a perfect day it was (and then I start freaking out, this is my wedding?? These beautiful shots are my wedding??) It turned out more beautiful than I could have imagined, and it was all thanks to my family, my new in-laws, and my friends who helped do so much of the work to make everything perfect.

My mom helping me get ready

The girls got ready at my parents' house, while the guys got ready at the hotel. Kacey and I went back and forth on whether or not to see each other before the ceremony, but ultimately we decided to do a first look so we could do all the family photos before the ceremony. It was definitely the right decision, and we wouldn't have been able to fit it all in between the ceremony and reception. We were married at the church we went to in college. It's this beautiful old stone church that was built in the 1800s, and there really isn't much else like it around where we are. I always told myself in college that if I ever got married, it would take place there. And it did! 

My dad and I, waiting to walk down the aisle

We got married at the church we went to in college

We were married by a close friend of Kacey's family

Immediately after the ceremony :-)

The weather that day was crazy. It was raining in the morning, became sunny, hot, and incredibly humid, started downpouring right before the reception, and ended up as practically a hurricane by the time we left at midnight. Even so, we ended up with some great pictures!

A few notes: My wedding dress was Robert Bullock and I am absolutely in love with it. This was the dress I compared every other dress to and it took forever to find. The veil was my mom's and I was so honored that she let me hack it up and wear it. I really wanted a long veil with lace edging, but the pricing at the bridal shops was ridiculous - $300+ for a piece of tulle and some lace?! No thank you.  I was getting ready to take the plunge and try to make my own, when my mom stepped in and offered her veil. The main layer was exactly what I wanted, long and had a lace edge. She graciously let me detach the layer from the blusher and awesome 70s headpiece and sew it onto a comb. It was the absolute perfect finishing touch. I have so many more things to say about that day, but this is already getting long.

Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!

Dress: Robert Bullock
Shoes: Rampage via DSW
Necklace: Bloomingdales
Bracelet: JCrew
Hair: Impressions Salon in Mequon 
Flowers: The Flower Lady in Wauwatosa 
Church: St. John's Ev. Lutheran Church 

Weekend Recap - We Ate A Lot

Monday, August 27, 2012

This weekend was exactly what I needed after a crazy long work week. Well, except for the part where I locked myself out of the apartment for 2 hours. We caught up with friends, looked at our newly arrived wedding photos, grilled much food (seriously, so much food), and started writing thank you notes from our wedding. 

Our photographer sent our pictures in the cutest packaging! 

We kicked off the weekend with bacon wrapped steaks, oregano green beans, and chimichurri on the grill. Everything was amazing but think I put too much garlic in the chimichurri - we were breathing it all weekend.  

Then on Saturday one of Kacey's friends came over and the guys proceeded to make beer can chicken on the grill. This was also amazing. Recipe will be coming soon! 

This is a sneak peak of the stemware rack that Kacey and I made. I'll be doing a DIY tutorial on it, but first a story. All I wanted was to go outside and glue the top of the shelf to the bottom rack part. I had gotten home early from work on Friday so I grabbed my camera, the glue, and the wood pieces and stepped outside to our porch. It was warm out so I closed the door behind me to keep the cool air conditioned air inside - simple enough, right? As it swung shut I suddenly realized that I hadn't unlocked it after I got home and frantically grabbed at the knob and threw my weight against the door...just as it clicked shut and locked. 

So fantastic, I was now trapped outside with nothing but 2 pieces of wood, glue, and a camera, wearing a pajama tank top, jeans, and no shoes (thankfully I had had the presence of mind to change out of my pajama shorts and into jeans before I went outside). I had no cell phone, no keys, and not even a bobby pin in my hair to attempt to pick the lock. I went over to my car desperately hoping I had forgotten to lock it, but to no avail. I tried the house windows, but since we're so paranoid about people breaking in, everything was locked down securely (however, I can now sleep better at night knowing that people aren't getting into our house, that's for sure). We had discovered a few weeks ago when Kacey did the same thing that our landlord doesn't have keys to our place, and neither of our neighbors were answering their doors. I was stuck. All that was left was to sit and wait, praying that Kacey would come directly home after work and not stop somewhere. So I glued those 2 pieces of wood together, attempted to occupy myself with my camera and sat there for over an hour while I waited for Kacey. Thankfully he did come right home after work and let me back into the house. And that was my Friday evening. 

On a happier note, we got photo thank you cards printed! I love how they turned out, but now we actually have to write them...

And finally, attempting to be a little healthier to balance all the manly grilled meat. This went perfectly with old movies and blended peach daiquiris. How was your weekend? 

Modern American Girl - Molly Saves the Day

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Molly Saves the Day

Now, for my favorite book in the entire American Girl Series. Molly's camp was seriously the coolest thing ever. They played capture the flag on islands! People decided to let a bunch of 9 and 10 year old girls paddle canoes around to an island, throw bugs on each other, sit in poison ivy, and generally have the best summer ever, and I wanted in on that! I loved summer camp as a kid, and Lindsay and I did rock the canoe race, but it was nothing like this. This was the camp of dreams. So this is what I would wear to go camping and win the most epic game of capture the flag ever, complete with a D-day re-enactment.

Also, how much more American can the cover of this book possibly get?

Bacon, Spinach, and Gruyere Frittata

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I've recently been trying to get away from my usual morning routine of cold cereal or a waffle on the go to a more hearty and somewhat healthier breakfast choice. I've never really made egg bakes, quiches, or frittatas before, but I figured it couldn't be that difficult with all the recipes that are out there. I ended up not following any particular recipe, but came up with my own that I'm pretty pleased with! It's the perfect mix of veggies, crispy bacon, and sharp gruyere.

6 strips of bacon
8 eggs
2 TBSP heavy cream
1/2 cup of gruyere cheese plus more for topping
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 onion, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of spinach

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

First cook the strips of bacon in a cast iron or oven safe pan. Make the bacon extra crispy (the easier it is to crumble). Drain the extra grease out of the pan. Once cooled, crumble the bacon into tiny pieces.

While the bacon is frying, chop up the onion, tomatoes, and spinach and set aside. Whisk together the eggs and heavy cream in a bowl. Add the 1/2 cup of gruyere, salt and pepper, and the crumbled bacon. 

Add onions to skillet and saute on medium until they become translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 3 more minutes. Add spinach and toss until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Pour the egg and bacon mixture directly on top of the vegetables and stir to combine. Turn the heat to medium-low and let the frittata sit undisturbed until the eggs set, about 2-3 minutes. 

Transfer the whole pan directly into the oven and bake until the center is set and the top is a nice golden brown, about 13-15 minutes. Pull it out of the oven and let cool a bit. It will look delicious and fluffy. Enjoy it hot out of the oven, or save the leftovers and eat it for breakfast during the week. 

Bonus: this recipe was husband approved and will definitely be making another appearance around our house. 

Life Lately and Zoo a la Carte

Monday, August 20, 2012

First things first - Kacey starts his new job today! After being laid off right before our wedding, it's an understatement to say that we're relieved and happy for this day to come. After the world's longest background check a local insurance company finally extended him an offer and he's going to start a new career path as a claims adjuster. We have no idea if he'll like it or not, but we're both excited for this new adventure.

Milwaukee Zoo a la Carte

Another exciting bit that happened last week - we finally got our wedding photos from our photographer! I can't wait to share some here, but there are over 1,000 to go through, so it might take me a bit. 

Yay, I'm a llama again!

So you might be wondering what these photos have anything to do with this post, since they aren't job or wedding related. Milwaukee's Zoo a la Carte was this weekend, and after hearing about it for years, my old roommate Leanne and I decided to check it out. Basically, for one weekend the zoo stays open late and a bunch of local area restaurants set up booths all throughout the premise. You can go from exhibit to exhibit and see the animals all while eating, drinking, and listening to live music from the various stages. It was pretty much as fun as it sounds, though I did get a little sick from eating a mystery "meat". Serves me right.

Spicy southwest egg rolls

 I hadn't been to the zoo since college, so it was really fun to see everything again. The lions in particular were unusually active and putting on a good show for the crowd. We were too far back to get a good picture, but I'm not sure who was more amusing to watch - the lions or the crowd's reactions.

We tried to take a picture with the elephants. This guy was having none of it. 

This weekend in general was pretty fantastic and relaxing. The weather finally cooled down a bit after being in the 90s for weeks on end. It's slowly hinting at fall and I can't wait!


Modern American Girl - Happy Birthday Molly

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Happy Birthday Molly

Ok, cute dresses, chocolate cake, birthday crowns, British friends, and puppies. This is the best birthday ever!

In this book, Molly's birthday is coming up and she wants her dream party (which is basically chocolate cake and princess dresses because she's 10 and that's exactly what I wanted when I was that age) but suddenly all her plans are thrown into disarray when an English girls comes to stay with them and wants terrible things like tea and weirdo British food for the birthday party.  So here's where Molly and I differ, because personally I think that would be AWESOME. But maybe I'm biased considering I regard England as my second home. Still, Molly - you crazy. Also, I miss York.

Also also - no matter what decade you're in, birthday crown are a must!

La Petite Fashionista Mag

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lauren over at La Petite Fashionista blog has launched her first online magazine issue! And I'm a contributer! It has some great stuff like fun wine suggestions, recipes, great beach vacation spots, and taking a summer wardrobe into fall. Go check out La Petite Fashionista Magazine and my Jalepeno Watermelon recipe! 

Sailing Away

Monday, August 13, 2012

Aren't these images dreamy? The lighting is so pretty, and I can't think of a place I'd rather be on a Monday morning that in bed dreaming of sailing adventures.

Modern American Girl - Molly's Surprise

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Molly's Surprise

It seems strange to be talking about Christmas in August, but this was another Molly book that I loved. There was intrigue and hiding presents! And snow! And a Christmas morning broadcast from her dad who was in the military overseas! Even when I was younger I thought it would be so cool to be sitting there opening presents on Christmas morning and then holy cats! Your dad is on the radio! That's like being famous back then.  And another big deal for 8 year old me - THEY GOT TO HOLD REAL CANDLES IN CHURCH!  At that point in my life I had never experienced a candlelight service, so they fact that they just apparently handed out fire at Molly's church made me really jealous.

In other news, it was really difficult to find a green velvet dress that wasn't a renaissance costume. Which is awesome, just not what I was going for. So black velvet it is. With black tights and Mary Janes, because I don't know who Molly thinks she's fooling - she's from the midwest and it's December. There's no way she's actually running around bare legged.

Maxed Out

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

dress: Lauren Conrad for Kohls, jacket: Elle for Kohls, 
necklace: Forever 21, bracelet: J. Crew bag: H&M

A maxi dress and denim jacket combo has been my go to outfit for work this summer. It's perfect for when I oversleep or just can't be bothered to think of an outfit to wear. Plus, it's as near as I can get to wearing pajamas at work. Because let's be honest, if I had my way, I'd be wearing pajamas everywhere. I also tried rocking the sock bun (or blogger bun as I like to call it). I wore it once before with my hair fully slicked back, but I think I like this looser look a bit better.

Top Collar

Monday, August 6, 2012

I think I've said it before, but I could live in a perpetual state of autumn. It seems almost blasphemous to say, but I'm starting to think about fall. Shhh. With stores starting to put out their back to school merchandise, I've begun to think about fall trends that I'd like to try. I've seen peter pan collar necklaces here and there, but I've been on the fence about whether I could pull one off. I think with crew neck sweaters or boat neck shirts these would be the perfect accent and a fun way to dress up a casual top. 

1. Asos Fine Chain Collar Necklace 
2. Asos Rhinestone Collar Necklace
3. Topshop Rhinestone Peter Pan Necklace 
4. Nordstrom BP Chain and Rhinestone Collar Necklace
5. Topshop Peter Pan Pearl Necklace
6. BHLDN Margarite Collar

Modern American Girl - Molly Learns A Lesson

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Molly Learns A Lesson

You know those random facts or quotes you read in books when you were younger that you still remember? This book has one of those for me. To this day, without even thinking about it, I can tell you that eight multiplied by seven is fifty six because Molly got it wrong.  I used to desperately hope that some day in grade school math class the teacher would have a quiz and ask what 8 x 7 was, and I would instantly yell out "56!" blowing everyone away and making them think I was an undiscovered math prodigy.  Alas, that didn't happen.

I promise I'll stop using plaid for Molly. I ended up using it last time because I couldn't find any good argyle that I liked. But I think it's different enough here. I also really like that dress.

Cilantro Lime Fish Tacos

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another great summer dinner choice today. I found this fantastic fish taco recipe on Skinny Taste and it's the perfect mix of quick, easy, healthy, and delicious. The hot weather broke briefly, so Kacey and I made these one night and enjoyed them on our back porch (ok, it's more like a stoop) with a gin and tonic. I don't do spicy, do I didn't add in the jalepenos when mixing, however, Kacey lives for burning his tongue off so we had bottles of hot sauce nearby for a kick. The best thing about this recipe is that it makes enough for leftovers the next day! 

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