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Wedding bouquet surprise and budget-friendly blooms; a DIY

Monday, May 23, 2016

For my daughter's wedding, I handled all of the flowers. While I would've loved to have gone through a floral designer, it just wasn't in the budget. So, I found a site called Afloral that was awesome and they really make it easy to be your own designer. They have many silk flowers and pre-made bouquets to choose from that were quite budget-friendly. They also have a host of ideas to help you make some decisions on what type of flower goes with what. I had a million things in my cart but had to narrow it down of course.

We ordered two rose bouquets in pink cream (which is now unavailable) each were 12.99 before the 10% discount and the others were a mix of pink, white and cream bouquets. with touches of Silver Brunia. Each ran 5.99 - 9.99. Blair's, the youngest bridesmaid, was all fresh. They were all pretty but even when ordering I knew I was going to add in real flowers for fragrance as well as helping to fill them out if needed, especially for the Bride and also because they were going to do double-duty as centerpieces. They really were nice enough to stand on their own, though. The flowers looked very real and were of great quality. And because this was the bride and groom's day, her bouquet needed to be set apart from the rest so she was the only one who had live hydrangeas; the bridesmaids had roses, carnations and baby's breath.

I bought all of the fresh flowers at our local grocery store. I knew they always have a great selection and scoped them out about a week before to see how fresh they were looking. They just so happened to have a sale the day before the reception where it was a BOGO free so I came away with 6 bundles of flowers for 18.00 and added in another 3 at full-price which were bouquets of roses and hydrangeas. All total it was less than 40.00 for two buckets of flowers!

The bouquets from Afloral were tied with raffia but I substituted with gray, blush pink and gold ribbon and let it drape from the bouquets. With floral tape I secured the fresh flowers to the silk ones after I had disassembled the bouquets. I wanted to insert the fresh blooms in-between the silk rather than attaching them to the outer part of the pre-made bouquet.

As a surprise for my daughter, I attached two picture charms that I bought at Hobby Lobby and inserted photos of her late grandmothers. Honestly, that may have been the thing I was most excited about doing. I was so happy when Belén looked to see what was underneath the leaves. We all got misty eyed at that moment.

More wedding ideas to come!<3 p="">

Looking from Heaven, Grandmother charms.


New Sisters-in-law

All the bridesmaids


Thanks for reading.
Have a great day,

~L
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<3 p="">linking to Tauni Everett
Handy man, Crafty woman

Idaho, The District and a Pennsylvania wedding all in one - Belén and Jordan

Friday, May 20, 2016


We were in wedding mode for about 4 months which is one of the reasons I have been super lame in my blogging. But I thought I'd show a few wedding pictures. Eventually I will get into detail about the bouquets, the decorations and budget. (I was on a serious budget.) But for now please enjoy a few pictures from the National Mall in Washington DC. More to come!







An underlying fear in the creative process; who do you think you are?

Monday, February 29, 2016

As I listened to a webinar about how to write a book proposal, something was said that struck a chord with me. Although this was geared towards the proposal, I feel we can apply it to our lives in anything we do.

The admin asked, "Does the world really need another book?"
The answer was no, not really. We have a tons of them.

Think about that for a moment. Do we really need more of anything that we do? Books? crafts? Pinterest pages? IG pictures? Blogs? tchotchkes? No, no, no and a couple more no's. (Or is it nos?) Anyway, there are a million, right?

She said something after that which I didn't catch but then I heard this,
"The world needs you to come alive."

I have felt inundated with all of the informational how-to's out there and also felt that what I've been reading or seeing was just recycled content, my blog included. We could make a list of it all but that's not the point.

The point is that we come alive during our creative process! And the world needs you to do that
because somewhere along the line, someone may be waiting for the right piece of inspiration and yours might just be it, whatever that may be. It doesn't always mean that you're making something either. Creativity is broad and encompasses all sorts of things and moments.

So don't worry that something you want to do may have been done before. Don't let the question of 'who do you think you are' creep into your mind. You're making yourself the subject matter expert!

Don't worry that your idea might be jumping off from another person's idea. Just run with your creative process and see how happy and satisfied it makes you.




Current state of affairs

Saturday, January 23, 2016

This is the scene on the East coast right now. I just opened the door really quickly and took a picture with my computer. We have over 2 feet and 24 hours more of snow to go. The weather had been so mild I never brought in the patio furniture. Oops.

We're in our pajamas, snacks spread out on the table, napping in-between games. I loooovvee being snowed in. Everything is shut down, except Turkey Hill. This is the first time in 16 years that Jon does not have to put the car in 4 wheel drive and head in to a hotel to make sure all the guests are taken care of and that the power has not gone off.

My main job is Mon-Fri and from home for the most part so I have no where to be and we closed the shoppe today so I really have no reason to go out. For those that have to make it in to work, bless you and stay safe!


Non-resolution new year goals

Sunday, January 10, 2016


While I'm not a big resolution-making type at the new year, I do like to have some simple goals in mind that I'd like to accomplish. I tend to look back and see what I have done in the past year and build upon those things and stretch myself in other ways. Nothing I write down is too big of a challenge. I'm pretty simple.

Last year Jon was gone the whole year to Arkansas. I actually 
really liked living there over the summer on Lake Hamilton. It grew on me quickly but for various reasons we couldn't make it our new home. I enjoyed lake living sooo much. I've always been a water person and wish that I could continue to live near it. We took full advantage of having the beach be our back yard when we lived in Hilton Head, SC. I had forgotten how much I loved the water so one of my goals for this year is to get out a little more. Whether that is finding a lake to do a little fishing or heading out early on a weekend to get to Cape Henlopen, I want to be at the water's edge somewhere. We sold our kayaks when we moved back to PA but there's always Craigslist.


(sooc) In our backyard in Arkansas

Another focus is to do more photos that I want to do. If I see another train track photo I may just die. (No offense to anyone doing those. It is illegal, btw!) I just want to go back to what I was doing 20+ years ago; more natural lifestyle, street photography with the occasional portrait.

One of my favorite sessions. I had to get her to stick out her stomach so you could actually tell she was 9 months :0

Gorgeous HS senior

@Home Again, my little shop within a shop, is going well but I want to stretch myself there. It's easy to make/redo or bring in items that you automatically know your demographic will like but honestly, that can get boring. I want to bring in items that I think people might not have thought about yet. I found a 1960's bar cart in Arkansas that we lugged home. The handles were inset brass and were a regency style. The top folded out to create extra prep room. I stripped the top to its natural finish which was a great contrast to the black base. I immediately loved it but knew it could be a hard sell for this area. So I took the chance and was happy today when I went in to the shoppe and saw that it had sold. I just have to go with what I like and take more chances. It will pay off eventually.

I want to create a haven for my family within our home. This has been on my mind a lot. Since Jon's career change, which has been anything but smooth, I have felt the need to really make our home a place where we can close off the world and enjoy our time together. Time goes by so quickly and soon my two oldest will be gone and I wonder where the time has gone. Life is busy and in an unforgiving economy, it takes two salaries to raise a family of 7. There's just no getting around it for us and we live well within our means, opting for used cars and vintage furniture rather than new and top of the line anything (unless we win the lottery, then I may have something new ;)) I'll be focusing on this aspect more than anything I think.

Reading. Jon always reminds me that I used to be a voracious reader. I'm not sure what happened but I know I just need to schedule time to read. I have a stack of books whose dust jackets are literally collecting dust.

Service. I HAVE to make time for this. Not just to be an example to my kids but because I genuinely like people. I like to know their stories, what makes them tick so to speak and whatever way I can help, I want to. I signed up with an organization who makes scarves and places them in public locations (aka scarf-bombing) in the inner-city for the homeless to take to keep warm. I think it is such a sweet service.

Friends. I must do better at keeping in touch. I have been so lucky to have lived in different places and made friends with some of the best of the best. I have to let them know that. Being home in Washington state over the summer really reminded me that those ties are important to ones well-being.

The other, smaller goals will come over time. I'll be bringing updates periodically on those as well as what I've mentioned. Good luck on yours!

~Laura








Happy New Year!

Friday, January 1, 2016

I'm recommitting myself to a few things in this New Year - one being this blog. 
The rest will reveal themselves.
Until then, Happy New Year from me to you!




A gift, service and a run in Philly

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A year ago I was at my Uncle's funeral where my cousin Wendi and I were talking. Unfortunately over the years of living here ( I grew up on the West coast) the only time I tend to see some of my PA cousins are at funerals.

So as we were talking, Wendi asked if she could get Blair a birthday present and of course I said, "Sure!" so she asked Blair if she liked to read. Blair gave a resounding yes. Wendi said that her niece was editing a book which would soon be released and she could probably get her a signed copy. Blair was so excited about this. Wendi texted me a month later and said she hadn't forgotten about it but life came up and she would get on it. I told her not to worry. I had actually forgotten about it when Wendi messaged me again and said she had it and would mail it out.

It wasn't too long after that when I received word from my cousin, BethAnn, Wendi's sister, that Wendi had been diagnosed with a brain tumor during this time. I was shocked. I had just hammed it up with her in pictures a few months back. BethAnn said that Wendi kept telling her to get the book mailed for her. I responded by saying enough with the book, just get better. But there would be no getting better. The cancer took her quickly and mercilessly. Here she was, in the fight of her life, and she was trying to get Blair that book.

At her funeral, Blair received her gift from Wendi. It is now a prized possession. And it's a constant reminder that my worst of moments so far are not that tough and I can do a better job of making time for service.

So the least I could do was to join BethAnn's team in the Race for Hope in Philadelphia, through the National Brain Tumor society, to say thank you to Wendi and honor her memory.

Best seller

BethAnn and me

Me and my little cheering section. Love them.