The New Mr. and Mrs.

2013 is off to the best start ever!  My sister got hitched earlier this month at my parents’ home upstate.  It was a cozy and festive affair and I couldn’t be happier for the newlyweds.  It’s going to be a busy year for our family.  My brother’s 1st of 2 weddings is coming up in a few short weeks.  So fun!

The dress

The dress

The sparklies

The sparklies

The niece

The niece

Homemade favors...of course

Homemade favors…of course

The baby

The baby

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Sisters

Sisters

Stylist to the stars

Stylist to the stars

Lovely lady

Lovely lady

Dad greets the Barat

Dad greets the Barat

Sibling huddle

Sibling huddle

Go time!

Go time!

Here comes the bride!

Here comes the bride!

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Party girl crashes

Party girl crashes

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Post-wedding clean-up

Post-wedding clean-up

What a night!

What a night!

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Pinterest Goodness

Yay!  Pinterest project reveal day! It took me a good week to decide on a project to tackle.  There are so many great ideas, where do I even start???  Food is always good but it really doesn’t make for a great reveal unless you’re able to share it.  Then I was thinking something crafty for the house, but I’ve got moving on the brain.  I think I’m at a point where it doesn’t make sense to invest any more time or money into space that’s 1.  Not ours  2.  We’ll be vacating in ~6-8  months.  I do love a good home-y craft though so I may convince myself to do one still.  I really, really wanted to do something wedding-y.  My BFF is getting hitched 2 weeks (2 weeks, Shortie!!!)   The problem was, I had pretty much been harassing the bride for the past 1 1/2 years to give me a task and met with no success.  I was begging.  No joke.  For a crafty person like me, it was torture.  Weddings for crafters are like boobies for babies, Paris for the fashionista, 5G for the techie (ok, I don’t know what that is or if even exists).  Point is, weddings have the potential to be the ultimate DIY event and I wanted in.

Turns out I can be a major pain in the tush and 3 weeks before go-time she relented and told me I could be in charge of the guest room gift baskets.  Happy day!  I was on it 5 minutes later.

Here are my inspiration pics:

The wedding will be an outside, afternoon affair in upstate NY, on the lake, in the fall. So that kinda set the tone for the look I wanted to achieve: simple, cozy, natural, elegant.

And here’s the finished deal

I bought the baskets (8 total) at JoAnn’s.  They were super-discounted down to $3 bucks each and they’re lined! The rest I made entirely out stuff I already owned and had saved from previous projects not including of course the food stuff in the basket.

This cute envelope containing assorted teas was so easy to make.  I just completely opened up a plain, white invitation envelope, traced it onto the printed paper, glued it together, and secured the closure with a little bit of twine for that au naturale look.

Personalized water bottle labels with the newlyweds’ new monogram.

“Love muffins”  Cheese, I know.  People are allowed to be cheesy at weddings.  This little baggie will contain Morning Glory muffins.  Gonna wait until the day before to make those.  I’ll include the recipe below.  I made them for Manu’s school and they are delish!

“The perfect mix”.  More cheese.  A little salty snack mix to balance out the sweet muffins.

And that folks, is the end.  It was so nice to take some time out and do something other than laundry and picking up bits of breakfast off the floor.  Did you hear that future Mrs. Powell?  I had fun 🙂

A special thanks to Brianne for giving me the motivation I needed to tackle a new project.  So fun.  We must do it again!

Morning Glory Muffins (adapted from here)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 apple – peeled, cored and shredded
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the carrot, raisins, nuts, and apple.
  3. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir egg mixture into the carrot/flour mixture, just until moistened. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Yields 12 large (18 small muffins)

Traveling Circus

We’ve been doing quite of bit of traveling lately.   It seems like most days are spent like this:

which is kinda exhausting for everyone.  It’s all good though because it also means we’ve been having a whole lot of fun.

We took a day-trip into the city to celebrate my brother’s graduation from medical school.  The city is always a hit with the kids, although I think Manu was less than impressed with Harlem.  We weren’t able to catch a yellow taxi there, so we took a gypsy cab which was grey and therefore not a taxi.  Taxis are yellow, they have signs on top, and a TV inside.  End of story.

So my little brother is an physician….like a real one.  It’s crazy to me.  I mean,  he’s super-smart and he worked his tail off, but I can’t seem to see him as anything other than the little guy who used to eat ants and flip his eyelids.  Who knows, maybe he still does those things.  Still blows my mind though.

I need to steal some graduation pictures from someone.  We left our camera in the car 😦

The next day we headed to PA to attend our friends’ wedding.  Such a lovely time.  Outdoor wedding are the best.  And they’re especially awesome with kids.  Front-end loader, shovels, field.  Go to town.  They essentially entertained themselves for an entire afternoon.  I even remember eating.  Bliss.

I cannot believe I was able to salvage these pants.

 

Ah, summer.

 

 

My Best Friend’s Wedding

In 416 days (yep, I’m counting) our best friends are marrying each other.  So cool, right?  Now I like give credit where credit is due and hooking our two besties up was totally all my idea.  Thank you, T.  You rock.  And have I ever told you, you look great in red?

Anyway, this is undoubtedly going to be an affair to remember and even though it’s still over a year away (like, I’ll be 30), I’m crazy excited.  So excited, that I went ahead and bought my dress.

Ta-da!

I scored this baby on super-duper clearance at J. Crew.  $62 bucks!  As Riz likes to say,”that’s a smokin’ deal!”

And no, I’m not trying to show-up the bride.  She asked specifically for a long ivory gown.  She, Shortie, will be wearing a haute couture (her momma’s creation) gown in peridot.  So so lovely.

I love a wedding.

September

September found us in Horseheads for Jeff and Melissa’s nuptials. Don’t you just love wedding season? Manu and I made the trip a couple days early to spend some quality time with the family.
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What better way to spend your time than playing dress-up. Medina and I raided her closets and donned the little guy in old dance costumes and party dresses. With a little accessorizing and a little protest, we created the lovely “Armana”. Poor kid.
It was another gorgeous wedding. Jeff and Melissa exchanged vows at a lakeside ceremony at the camp where they first met.
We made our way back to Pittsburgh by way of Buffalo where I got to hold sweet baby Owen for the first time. Yay for new babies!
September also brought some firsts for Manu. He went from taking his first steps just weeks earlier, to fearlessly running.

He also created his first works of art, which of course we proudly framed.


On one fine day, Manu discovered the yuminess of the Whole Foods prepared foods bar. We scooped up some of their delicious mac and cheese for him, but it true Manu-style he wanted the good stuff and shamlessly devoured my entire plate of Indian food.

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August

At the end of August we made the looong 6 hour trek out to Brooklyn to witness our friends Jon and Maria, tie the knot. It was one of the most memorable weddings we’ve attended; an intimate, personal, and heartfelt affair from start to finish. Free of cliched vows and dyed to match satin, all the elements of the day truly reflected and celebrated the couple and their commitment to each other.

The bride and her mom make their way through Prospect Park. How gorgeous are they?! Now that’s a Mother of the Bride dress. No frumpy- dumpy here. At the reception she dedicated a tango to the newlyweds. How brilliant!


The exchange of rings


The vows.


August 27th marked our 11 year dating anniversary. The hubby surprised me with a Le Creuset grill pan in “Dijon”. I had my eye on the baby for months and was so pysched (do people still say that?) that Riz snatched one up for me. It’s one of those items you know you’ll use but would never buy for yourself. Now only if I had an extra grand lying around, I could finish off the collection.


Manu presents Mommy with her new grill pan. And yes, he’s sporting a pony tail.

This pic is one of my favorites from the entire summer. It’s not great technically, but I love the feel of it. My little/not so little boy. I wonder what caught his attention. A passing car? A barking dog? Is he sensing the transition from summer to fall? Or marveling at how much world there is to explore? Maybe like his momma he’s wondering how he got so big so fast.