Most (re)Pin-Worthy

I had a little fun today looking back at some of my ‘most-re-pinned’ projects – a great way to reflect over what projects are getting the most love out there in the bloggy/pinny world. I learned two things from this exercise:

1) Once a post/project/pin is released into the world, there is no telling what its web trail will look like!

2) Jane Austen is everybody’s favorite. Duh.

So here are the Top Five Most Re-Pinned Projects from my Some Kind of Lovely Ride Pinterest Board – my board devoted to all of my original projects, photos, and posts! Go ahead and follow along, why don’t you!

5)

My little side-table makeover using fabric, spray adhesive & some nailhead trim:

SideTable

4)

This sunny stenciled lamp shade – & really simple and rewarding project!

StenciledLamp

3)

A DIY Bedroom Tray made using a picture frame, some drawer handles & scrapbook paper.

tray3

2)

A set of painted wood letters & canvas blocks form my Ombre Love Wall Art, displayed above my dresser in my bedroom.

img_5509

1)

And the most re-pinned of them all: this trio of Jane Austen Free Printables I created over a year ago featuring some of my favorite quotes from Jane Austen. Go ahead and download them for yourself!

JaneAustenPrintables

How the Internet is Helping Me Plan My Wedding

An alternate title for this post is: How Wedding Planning Changed My Relationship with the Internet. To the obsessive, can’t-live-without each other kind of relationship which may or may not prove to be completely dysfunctional somewhere down the road. Well, I supposed the internet could live without me. He’s got lots of friends.

Whichever way you spin it, mine has been an internet & app based wedding-planning experience. To be honest, I’m not sure how anybody planned a wedding before the internet/computers/Pinterest. Did our parents really sit around hand writing guest lists? Did they actually have to speak to vendors on the phone or – in person? – while narrowing down their choices? And where did they get ideas for their colors/dresses/invitations/etc. before blogs like Style Me Pretty existed (or, again, before Pinterest?).

One of my many wedding planning boards.

Isn’t it amazing that something like Pinterest- which has only been around for a couple of years, and only been widely used for less time than that- can feel so completely irreplaceable, so quickly? My discovery of Pinterest timed pretty much perfectly with my engagement, and so it has been my primary source of inspiration and vehicle for sorting all of the amazing ideas out there. But I’ve needed more than just Pinterest to organize my plans, and as a tech-savvy person, I’d like to share the main tools I’ve used on my computer and/or iPhone throughout this process.

Google Docs (now Google Drive)

I use Google Docs for everything from create lists for work and organizing my graduate school notes, to planning gig lists & rehearsals with my cover band. Google Docs far exceeds excel, numbers, or any other spreadsheet application because it allows for incredibly easy sharing & collaborating. And when the time comes to print or create a hard copy, you can quickly export any doc. When it came to our wedding plans, I immediately created a spreadsheet to plan our guest list, which has since morphed into my grand central station for tracking everything from addresses & RSVPs, to gifts & thank you card organization. You can download the excel version of my guest list organizer here, if you want:

Wedding Guest List Organizer

I’m also utilizing Google Docs to track my spending, keep my to-do lists up to date, and coordinate plans with my florist and band.

Screenshot of my wedding docs in action.

Etsy

I’ve loved Etsy for years. As my crafting skills are just so very amateur, I take great pleasure in buying beautiful handmade items from the incredible artists on Etsy. I’m attempting to DIY some of my wedding elements, but am very happy for Etsy when there are some things I just couldn’t make myself! Etsy recently introduced an organized weddings section, complete with great suggestions, inspiration, and articles.

iPhone Apps

Wedding Happy

I downloaded several free iPhone apps from well known wedding services- like The Knot & Wedding Wire. These are somewhat useful, but the app that really helps to keep me organized is Wedding Happy- free in the iTunes store.

Wedding Happy keeps a list of tasks & helps keep you on track with occasional reminders.

 Appy Couple

I discovered Appy Couple after already creating my wedding website on Wedding Wire, but I’m still planning to use the app to help get information out to our bridal party as the day approaches. Appy Couple is a free service that allows you to create a beautiful site for all of your wedding details, including a timeline, registry page, and fun features like games & a picture gallery. Once created, you invite your guests to download the app and sign in using your wedding code. I love the design, and think it is a very useful app!

What internet resources or phone apps do you use to keep yourself organized, or plan your wedding?

I’m Dreaming of a White Kitchen

After our wedding, future hubby and I are super excited to completely renovate our kitchen. Since deciding to stay put in our apartment, we both feel it is a definite priority to squirrel away some money to turn our 50 year old kitchen into an updated domestic dream.

This is the kitchen I lie in bed at night thinking about:

From ThomasvilleCabinetry.com

This kitchen includes a larger floor plan and many more windows than possible in our apartment, but I just love the white cabinetry, open shelving, and lightness of the whole look.

I found this lovely kitchen sink area on Pinterest, but it originally came from here.

Don’t you just adore the shabby-chic accents and fresh look of that counter top?

And finally, on my list of kitchen-necessities, a cute & organized pantry just like this:

The pantry is a DIY project I may tackle pre-wedding. Check out a description of how this lovely one was spruced up here.

Hopefully this time, next year, I’ll be blogging about our new kitchen! I can barely wait- top of the priority list is a dishwasher & MORE COUNTER SPACE!

Like Mother, Like Daughter

My mother has given me a couple of books, and frequently sends me articles, written by New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline. Lisa’s daughter, Francesca Serritella, writes as well and occasionally contributes to Lisa’s articles and books . The latest book she gave me, Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, was a Christmas gift that is sitting on my desk, begging to be read.

Christmas break from teaching-school & masters degree-school came and went in a hurry, with an engagement thrown in there somewhere (<3), and now it is the middle of February and I am in my typical “hunker down, focus on one thing at a time until the tasks are all complete, and get through the spring” mode that my boyfriend, no, fiance (<3) and I experience each year. (For a number of reasons, the primary reason being that we are apparently a perfectly-matched pair of over-achieving, glutton-for-punishment types who repeatedly take on just about the absolute most amount that we can chew each school year).

My point being, I have not really had any time to read for fun since I devoured the Hunger Games Trilogy in three consecutive late-night sessions a few months ago. Lisa Scottoline’s book will be a laugh-out-loud joy fest, I am sure of it. The last one I read, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog (she was married, and divorced, twice, to “Thing One” and “Thing Two”, in her words), was a beach read, causing surrounding beach-goers and Tim to stare as I guffawed loudly about three times per minute. Because I know how hilarious this next book will be, I am eagerly awaiting a semi-break coming up in about a week which will allow me to enjoy Best Friends, Occasional Enemies. What a perfect time to read a book about mother-daughter relationships~ right in the middle of wedding planning and dress shopping with my own lovely mother.

momandme

As I looked longingly at the book this morning, dreaming of a free afternoon during which I could curl up on the couch and read, I read the forward, written by Lisa. I laughed out loud (twice) and then got to this line:

“Mother love is like no other, and that’s why we love our mothers so deeply, and also why we want to throw them out the window.”

I told you she was hilarious.

I’m not saying I ever want to throw my mother out a window. It is possible I have wanted to throw my cell phone (with mother on the other end) out a window, but I believe that is mostly due to poor phone call timing. It is just not fair to call your mother – who lives an hour & a half a way and misses you – at 3:14 PM during your drive from one side of town to the other, when you have to walk in the door to rehearsal by 3:30, with the intention of just saying “hi”. As innocent as this may seem, mother wants to share a funny work story, daughter wants to make sure mother read her five emails about dress shopping appointments that day, and both really want to say much more than “hi”. My head is not in the conversation, though, it is already moving on to the next task, and my mother is usually equally consumed at the end of the school day. Better timing, I believe, could help us avoid some impatient comments and phone-throwing impulses.

I have been thinking an awful lot about my mother lately, although I have not called her as often as I have thought of her & wanted to call this week. As I plan my wedding, I am simultaneously attempting to curb my desire to re-decorate and re-furnish every room in our small apartment (if I can’t have a new house right now, I want our current place to be new-looking). Pinterest is a big contributor to these urges. One look at someone’s pinned picture of a sunny, cozy breakfast nook and I start calculating whether we COULD afford a mortgage right now. It would be worth it, if the new home had a breakfast nook…right?

How could you not be cheery having coffe & cereal here each morning?

But in every decor/home/wedding style picture I like, I see my mother. I am really not sure when I stopped being the girl who wanted the opposite of everything I grew up around. Teenage Laura looked at fields & open spaces, mom’s shabby-chic decor & antique furniture, stand mixers & kitchen appliances and thought “for me, city living, modern everything, eat out or order in every night!” Twenty-something Laura is suddenly craving a “rustic” wedding with burlap decor accents, a home with a yard, distressed-looking furniture & toile bedding, a kitchen big enough to experiment in, and yes… a stand mixer. Every time I find an image and love it, a voice in the back of my head says “Are you sure you love that? Because your mother would REALLY love that. What is going on with you?”

Toile.. A favorite fabric/design of my Mother’s. And mine, apparently.

I can’t explain it. I can’t explain why I find myself sounding exactly like my mother when I say “damn that Martha Stewart! Why is everything she does so perfect?” as I dream of crafting and DIY home decorating. (My mother never said “damn” around me. But I know she felt exactly like I feel when I look at one of Martha’s “easy do-it-yourself” projects and half laugh/half cry with envy).

I heard a proverb saying something like “whatever daughter does, mother did”. It appears to be relatively true. I feel closer to my mother when I like things that I know she would love too. I feel like the older I get, the more I will have in common with my lovely mother~ which is a heartwarming thought.

I am also pretty sure that planning a wedding with my mother will no doubt involve some moments where we both want to throw the other out the window. I just never thought I would want my window to be adorned in a valance my mother would have on her own window. Or that I would ever care about valances at all, for that matter.