Rustic Christmas Gift Wrapping

 

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I’m going to let you in on a dirty little secret – I hate wrapping paper. Wading through piles of it to find a decent pattern, calculating the amount you will need for the gifts you’ve got to wrap, buying it at what seems like an incredibly inflated price for something that is just going to be tossed into the fire at the end of the night anyway. I sort of let myself forget about wrapping paper this year, conveniently passing by that aisle with blinders on. I’ve got a much cheaper and, in my opinion, prettier method for gift wrapping anyway.

Craft paper is everywhere. I order a lot of supplies online, so there is pretty much a constant flow of the stuff into my house, and I hate to throw away a perfectly useful material. This year, I decided to theme my gifts to match my tree – rustic – so I finally got the chance to use up some of that craft paper. The fresh pine fronds are a nice touch because my tree is fake. I like having at least a little bit of the real stuff around.  😉

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • craft paper
  • washi tape
  • twine
  • fresh pine fronds
  • scissors

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First, fold your paper over your package neatly. The flaps will be the front of the gift. Another nice thing about this method is that very little tape is needed to hold it together.

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Next, use the washi tape to tape down the flaps. I made the letter G (for Grant), which also eliminates the need for a gift tag. One less step is always nice!

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Tie your twine around the parcel tightly, and place the fresh pine branch over the twine.

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Tie twine around the branch in a tight bow.

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I’m really loving the look of these gifts! Merry Christmas!

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And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

Luke 2:15-16

The Wonderful Wildlife of Wyoming

So far, one of the best things about living in Wyoming is the abundance of wildlife I get to see on a daily basis. Deer and turkeys are almost as common in Dayton as humans, I swear, but I often find myself wishing a moose would wander into my backyard as well (though they say mama moose are the most dangerous animals in the Bighorns). This moose Grant and I saw after a day of hiking in the Bighorns doesn’t look very mean, though!

Here is a sampling of the wildlife that frequent the foothills of the Bighorns:

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There are lots of different types of deer in Wyoming, but I think my favorite are the mule deer. They are fluffier than normal deer, and much less skittish. You come across a whitetail and it immediately scurries off; a mule deer, on the other hand, just stares, unfazed by the notice of humans. We’ve seen them in busy neighborhoods during the middle of the day, just meandering around, eating bushes and stuff.

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Marmots are big rodents but they are very cute. They kind of look like beavers except without the large flat tail. We saw this one at Mount Rushmore, but they lurk in the mountains by our house too.

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A fantastic flock of wild turkeys has moved into my backyard. My husband calls them nosy, because they like to see what we are doing when we go out there, doing yard work and what not. They make the funniest noises too, and sometimes the deer hang out with them. The horses like to mess with them as well.

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Evidently, a mother moose will do anything to protect her baby. Everyone always says that moose out here can be more dangerous than black bears, even, because moose are not afraid of measly humans, where black bears have more of a timid disposition naturally.

DSCN6021DSCN5794This black bear was in a nature preserve – doesn’t it just look so cuddly and nice? I imagine black bears in the wild aren’t quite so chill, but I would still love to see one.

I wish I had a picture of a pronghorn deer, but I’ve never been quite close enough to get a good shot. Those are weird looking animals, and they are everywhere out here.

Hope you enjoyed this sampling of Wyoming wildlife! I know I always do. 🙂

 

Words of Wisdom Concerning Outdoor Craft Fairs

Last weekend I participated as a vendor in my first ever craft fair – Craft Your Environment in Iowa City. It was an event that focused on recycling, reusing, and being kind to the environment. All of the vendors sold art that included upcycled materials.

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In the weeks proceeding the fair, I got increasingly anxious (how stupid would I feel if no one wanted any of my stuff?!?), but after twenty minutes or so into it I felt like I had finally found my niche. Selling art is fun! I got a lot of chuckles, a lot words of encouragement, and  yes, even a good number of sales!

This was an outdoor show, which is a bit of a risk when selling items that could potentially be damaged by the elements.

Rainy Day Brooch by Peels and Posies on Etsy
Rainy Day Brooch by Peels and Posies on Etsy

Nevertheless, everything turned out well, and to this point I would like to share a few words of wisdom when it comes to outdoor craft fairs.

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  1. In April, mornings are cold. Even if the high for the day is in the 70s, bring gloves or else your fingers will freeze solid as you put up  the tent.
  2. A tent with side-walls is a must, especially if you live somewhere where it is windy. The walls really helped protect me (from the cold) and my items (from blowing away).
  3. Bring tape. Lots of tape. Just do it.
  4. If you want to bring items that are personal jokes, expect to be questioned about them. It took me like 5 minutes to explain to a lady that “Por Queso” didn’t actually mean anything, it was just a bad pun that I thought was really funny. Needless to say, she left with a rather bewildered expression on her face.  

    Por Queso Badge by Peels and Posies on Etsy
    Por Queso Badge by Peels and Posies on Etsy
  5. You’ll be neighbors to the vendor next to you for the entire event. So try not to let yourself get annoyed by their “selling ways.” You may hear the phrase “All my items are made from recycled magazines” two thousand times, but chances are you’ll have a nicer time if you don’t let it nettle you (or at least make a joke of it).
  6. Finally, if you are OCD about dust and dirt and things falling off the table, don’t do an outdoor show. It is probably not worth it.

I really enjoyed my first craft show experience. It was both rewarding and fun. I am especially grateful for my incredible husband, who was by my side all day without complaint. It takes a special kind of man to do that!

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There are a lot of great craft fairs/shows/markets in Iowa during the summer (like this one I will be participating in in May and this one in June), so it is kind of a bummer I’ll be cutting the season short in July as we move to Wyoming. Luckily for me, however, there are a lot of great crafting opportunities in Sheridan as well. One down, a lifetime-ful to go!

The Mountains Are Calling

Here is a piece of advice: Don’t be surprised if all your well-layed plans fall to the wayside in the blink of an eye. It’s happened to me more times than I can count in the last four years.

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Wild & Free Mountain Brooch by Peels and Posies on Etsy

Just as I was getting used to the idea of staying in Iowa long-term (finally acclimating to the climate, learning about crops and tractors and Iow-y things, figuring out the good places to craft, etc etc), the unexpected happened in the form of a particularly persuasive school superintendent. A few weeks ago, my husband went to a teacher career fair to look for a job – hopefully somewhere in Central Iowa – and came home with the all the shining possibilities of the Wild West.

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Seek Adventure Journal by Peels and Posies on Etsy

Wyoming had actually been a joke between Grant and I as he filled out applications for teaching jobs:

*sardonic voice* “Hey, Haleigh, I think we should go to Wyoming!”, to which I scoffed and made some rude comment about hillbillies and the middle of nowhere.

The truth is, I didn’t know a single thing about Wyoming until about three weeks ago. The mental picture that came to mind every time someone mentioned the state was a big, flat, boring abyss where the most exciting thing to happen was roving cows munching on grass. But, au contraire, Haleigh. Au contraire.

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This summer, Grant and I will be moving to Sheridan, Wyoming, which is comfortably nestled halfway between Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore. It sits at the base of the Bighorn Mountains, and is one of the most deliciously beautiful places I have ever been. The place is teeming with wildlife (elk, pronghorns, buffalo, bears, deer, just to name a few) and there are endless possibilities for outdoorsy adventures like hiking and rock climbing and snowshoeing in the winter.

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Honestly, the closest I ever thought I would get to this kind of life backdrop was the Wichita Mountains (which are deceptively-named hills). But then, by now I should be used to things happening exactly the opposite of what I expect/want. For instance:

– When I lived in Tyler, Texas, Mississippi was the last place I thought I’d be for college. My fantasies included Boston, North Carolina, Maine – somewhere grand and long-praised. But I landed in Jackson, Mississippi for my first three semesters of college, and I don’t regret it a bit.

– When I lived in Mississippi, I hated Louisiana with an unmarked passion. Driving across that state on my way to Mississippi was the most detestable thing I had to do. And yet, by my fourth semester of college, I was in Baton Rouge attending Louisiana State University. To this day I still hate the state, but it’s where I met my husband, so obviously it was where I was supposed to be.

– My entire life I was against Iowa. In fact, it was the only state I audibly and passionately declared off my list of potential places to live. I was born in Iowa City, and as both sets of grandparents live in Central Iowa, it was the most common vacation destination for my family. I thought it boring. But then I met Grant, my lovable farm-boy from the hills of Northwest Iowa, and the rest was history. I took my last semester of classes at Iowa State, got married, settled into Gilbert, and really started to love my roots.

And now I’m being uprooted yet again.

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Adventure Brooch by Peels and Posies on Etsy

Wyoming was nowhere on my radar a month ago, but now that it is I am extremely excited. Sure, it’s far from family, but sometimes you just have to take those leaps and be adventurous. If the mountains are calling, go to them.

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Not to mention, my mountain-themed art (found here) will fit in perfectly. 🙂

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Mountains Teacup Pincushion by Peels and Posies on Etsy

5 Signs That May Indicate You Need a Pet

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When I was a little kid, having a pet was always my “thing.” I had so many hermit crabs and beta fish that eventually throwing them down the toilet became a regular activity. No need for tears. But these non-mammalian animals were merely precursors for the real thing. (I’m only a little ashamed that at age six I thought rodents could be considered real pets.)

So my first real pet was a mouse named Peanut. His death must have been extremely traumatizing to me, though, because I actually have no recollection of ever having a pet mouse named Peanut. The rest of my family had to convince me it was true over Christmas holiday. My second and favorite pet was a hamster, and ironically, his name was Goober. In homage to my pet mouse, perhaps?

When Goober died I went through a slew of other hamsters (whose names I no longer remember). One of them had a large litter of babies. I still have nightmares about the time I woke up to find that she had assassinated all but two of them. After this questionable experience, I retired as rodent owner and focused on the family dogs/guinea pigs.

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I won’t even go into the guinea pig story. All I can say is this – they reproduce like a contagious disease and it is a veeery bad idea to leave the lid of their outdoor hutch open.

So basically there were always pets in my life of some kind or another. Since going to college, however, I have been sadly bereft of a pet, and as my apartment does not allow them, it will be a while before I get one. However, I have been noticing a pattern of habits in myself that indicate my petlessness may be a bit of a problem.

They are as follows:

1. Sometimes when I am alone, I find myself talking to things in my apartment. Such as my kitty pillows. “Hi little kitty, would you like some coffee this morning? It’s really good. Oh, maybe you just want me to pet you.” … Yeah. At least if there was an animal – a living, breathing animal – that behavior would be excused. Kind of?

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2. I dream about animals on a nightly basis. Most recent one: a horde of ducklings was following me around, quacking “Mother.”

3. Occasionally, my procrastination leads me to the animal section of Pinterest. And doesn’t let me leave until I’m lying prostrate in the middle of my fluffy rug, rueing my lack of cute baby creatures to squeeze.

4. On the rather rare occasions that I do encounter an animal, I use a pet voice that has become dramatically higher and squeakier than the one I used when I was around animals on a daily basis. I think it has alarmed my husband multiple times.

5. Essentially everything I have created in the last few weeks has had to do with animals. Like these bunny pillows. Or this deer wall hanging. I’m even writing a story about a bunny. The madness never stops.

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If something similar is happening to you, you might think of investing in a furry little creature for yourself. I recommend a rabbit. That’s what is first on my list. Needless to say, I don’t think this petlessness is good for my health.

Deer Dreams

Don’t ask me what it means, but recently my world has been so full of deer it’s almost absurd. Not that I really mind much, because deer are my absolute favorite animal in the whole wide world. But still. I’ve even been having dreams about them. What’s that all about??

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Last night as Grant and I were driving home from bible study, we were about a foot from slamming in to this poor little deery that was crossing the road in front of us. It was the first time I’d come that close to hitting a deer with my car, and Grant can attest that I screamed like a little baby. The poor deer just looked so confused, stepping this way and that as our lights blinded her. Luckily we were only going about 45 mph, so we had enough time to slam on the brakes before slamming into her.

Maybe that’s part of what brought on my dream from last night. A family of deer broke into our apartment while we were sleeping – a mommy deer, a daddy deer, and a baby deer. The baby deer hopped onto the bed and curled up beside me like a little darling. Two nights ago, I had a different deer dream, one that also involved a deer being in our apartment.

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This time, the deer did not break in. He was our pet, and he was still small but not as small as the baby from last night. It was the middle of the night and there was a loud knock on the door. Grant went to answer it and we heard “Haleigh Robbins? Haleigh Robbins!” (don’t know why my maiden name was used…) Turns out President Obama was at our door and he wanted to speak with me. So we ushered him in and he saw our pet deer and he was like “Oh, well…how cute!” But really he was scared. The deer proceeded to growl (I don’t think deer actually growl) and then kicked President Obama down! I half-heartedly scolded my deer pet (see what I did there?), but the President was fine so I wasn’t too bothered.

I think all these dreams might mean I need a new pet. A couple weeks ago I got to play with the little deer that’s been hanging around my husband’s parents’ farm (pictured above). That experience has convinced me that a deer would in fact be the most perfect pet conceivable.

Did you know that a deer will wag his tail when he is excited about something? It’s true! When we went out to feed him, he saw his bottle, hopped around animatedly, and wagged his tail. He also knows his name and will come to it. Either that or he recognizes my father-in-law’s voice. Nevertheless, when Doug would call “Come Deer!” the precious thing actually came!

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A Wounded Deer Leaps the Highest // Deer Silhouette Wall Hanging by Peels and Posies on Etsy

My father-in-law found the baby deer by his shed one day, so weak it couldn’t even walk. The poor thing had been abandoned by his mother, so they decided to nurse him back to health. Now he’s the sweetest deer on the planet. The only other time I’ve petted a deer (see the chronicles of that experience here) I was also struck by how friendly the creatures were. Like I said before – perfect pet ever.

Inspired by all the deer activity going on in my life, I made this Deer Silhouette Wall Hanging with a quote by Emily Dickinson, “A wounded deer leaps the highest” (from the poem of the same name). I thought it was fitting and a little bit encouraging. You know, a deer can still run miles after it’s been shot; a last burst of perseverance and tenacity. I don’t know why anyone would want to shoot a deer, but that is a discussion for another time, I suppose. You can find my Deer Wall Hanging and other whimsical decor at my Etsy shop, Peels and Posies.

Pumpkin Apple Spice Cake and An Homage to Autumn

In celebration of fall I offer up to you my first truly fallish recipe, Pumpkin Apple Spice Cake. In my opinion, fall does not really start until I have either made a pumpkin (an artsy one, mind you; I am not God, after all, or Harry Potter, though I wish I could make pumpkins appear out of thin air) or have cooked with pumpkin, and I have now cooked with pumpkin, so fall is here!

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Pumpkins are only one of the many things I appreciate about fall, though. First off, I love the smell of the season. It’s spicy, kind of, like the falling leaves are peppering the world for a feast. I love stepping outside and breathing in a lungfull of crisp, cold air that tastes of life moving on. I also enjoy wearing sweaters and socks all the time, and biking in leggings and windbreakers, and feeling how cold my cheeks are when I get home from a long run. I particularly enjoy listening to the crows bleak song, a chorus to the wind’s melody. All these smells and tastes and feels mean it’s time to listen to Enya and let the world wrap itself around me in a blanket of serenity.

How couldn’t one be inspired by fall? It’s like life is finally a poem again, after waiting through months of drought and suffocating flowers. Summer is fun, but there’s just something magical about this time of year. 😉

PUMPKIN APPLE SPICE CAKE

Ingredients:

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup finely processed oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup applesauce (like this homemade honey lemon kind)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 can pumpkin (or 1 1/2 cup pureed fresh pumpkin)
1 finely diced golden delicious apple
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
Chopped walnuts (optional)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray bundt pan with baking oil. Dice apple and place in the bottom of a large bowl. Add flours, baking soda, salt, and spices.

2. In separate bowl, mix sugar, maple, greek yogurt, and applesauce. Add eggs and whip well. Stir wet mixture into dry mixture, and then fold in pumpkin puree.

3. Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. After the cake cools, top with Maple Glaze, made with 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 tbsp pure maple, and a touch of salt (add milk until desired consistency is reached).

4. Enjoy a slice of pure autumn euphoria.

Woodsy Boutonnieres, (Fake) Flower Crowns, and How To Arrange Bouquets at Home

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I talked all about my wedding in my last post (Oh Sweet Love – I’m Married!) and I’m going to talk about it just a little bit more in this post. What can I say, the post-wedding-bliss just hasn’t died out yet. In this post I want to talk specifically about three things: handmade boutonnieres, handmade flower crowns, and bouquet arranging at home.

I will not claim to be a flower expert. In fact, all I know about flowers is that they are gorgeous, and about 90% of the time they look beautiful without ornament of any kind. Traditionally at weddings, flowers abound. However, hiring a florists often ends up costing as much the venue itself, and this was just one vendor I didn’t particularly care to invest that much in.

A florist’s goods include bouquets, flower arrangements (center pieces, etc), boutonnieres, and the occasional flower crown (this is a rather new fad, though). One of the iffy things about fresh flowers is that they last only so long – timing is key. A florist has to make sure the flowers (boutonnieres and flower crowns included) are prepared well enough so that they will not wilt during pictures and during the pre-wedding bustle.

My thoughts on all this were: What is the point of fresh flower boutonnieres, anyway, when they wilt and die and are consequently thrown out? (Not like boys like wearing flowers anyway. Girls love ornamenting themselves, even if it can only be for a couple hours, but boys…no.) Flowers crowns are pretty, but like the boutonnieres, wouldn’t I rather be able to keep what I wear? and, How hard could flower arranging really be? If you’ve got the goods, then surely the flowers themselves do most of the work. On this account, I was right.

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So I decided to make lasting keepsake boutonnieres for the boys. I really like the look of the paper flowers at Hobby Lobby, and they also have lovely dried baby’s breath there, which was the perfect pop of filler. What I like most about the paper flowers is that they are realistic looking enough (they don’t look plastic like a lot of fake flowers) but they retain a certain degree of whimsy that sometimes isn’t even attained with fresh flowers.

To arrange these flowers, I simply cut the stem to the right length and wrapped them in flower tape (also from Hobby Lobby, in the flower arranging aisle). It took maybe five minutes.

As for the precious wooden deer pin (the best man’s boutonniere was a bear, and my sister’s similar hairpiece was a bunny): Sketch.Inc on Etsy is how that happened. Becky Kemp, the shop owner, hand makes a plethora of animal pins that are simply perfect for a woodsy affair.

I put a dab of hot glue on the back of the pin to attach the flowers, and now I have an extra something to remind me of my perfect wedding day. I probably won’t get Grant to ever wear it again, but pictures are proof he did it once, and I guess that’s enough for me 😉

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Now on to my flower crown. This was more labor intensive than the boutonnieres, but that’s okay, especially considering how it turned out. Let’s just say I was pleased. I used the same paper flowers from Hobby Lobby, and as you can see they look surprisingly similar to the real flowers I used in my bouquet. My photographer actually mistook the fake flowers on my headband for real. “I’m surprised those flowers haven’t wilted at all in the sun!” she said after taking about a hundred photos of Grant and I in a field. I laughed.

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To begin, I bought a thick lace headband, flowers and greenery, ribbon, and a large lace flower appliqué (all from Hobby Lobby). I used needle and thread to attach two pieces of ribbon to the headband (long ribbon, to be braided in with my hair). This way, there was more structure for the weight of the flowers without compromising flexibility. I deconstructed the green roses in order to attach them and make them more pliable. For the most part, I sewed the flowers on with thread, but for extra protection I used hot glue dabs on each flower. I didn’t want flowers raining down as I walked down the aisle.

For my woodsy wedding, this fake flower crown was just perfect.

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Now on to the flower/bouquet arranging. There was a lot of risk in this decision. Think of all the ways it could go wrong – the flowers come wilted, they wilt during the festivities, the bouquets get too cold/hot, there’s not enough time for arranging flowers with everything else. Yes, we kept this all in mind, but in the end we decided to take a chance (kind of like choosing to have an outdoor wedding at the end of July, and we all know how that turned out!).

We ordered the flowers online from a site called fiftyflowers.com. They have every type of flower imaginable; roses of every color, asters, snapdragons, tulips, dahlias, and hydrangeas, galore! In fact, the first time I looked at the website I was so overwhelmed that I had to shut my computer off and bake a cake. But nevertheless, after hours of painstaking decision making, I finally decided on a few beautiful blooms: Green Lisianthus, Pink Ranunculus, Pink Matsumoto, Poppy Pods, White Aster, Scabiosas, and Maidenhair Fern. I stuck with light pink and white for colors, because I am a big fan of simplicity. Too many colors can cause confusion.

I made up the bouquets (one for me, one for the maid-of-honor, and two backups) two nights before the wedding. It took a while, considering I was new at the whole wedding-bouquet-arranging thing. Then right before the rehearsal dinner, me and an army of my friends made the flowers into simple arrangements for the picnic tables. We had at least 50 mason jars to fill, and it took probably three hours. Though it was time consuming, it was an enjoyable job.

The morning of the wedding we had an unfortunate happenstance with the bouquets. Before the rehearsal dinner, some kind-hearted friends of mine placed the bouquets in the fridge because they figured they would keep better in there. No one knew that the fridge was closer to a freezer, and I didn’t have the hindsight to check on the flowers before bed. By morning they were popsicles! So when we awoke at 7, we were in a mad scramble to remake at least 3 more bouquets…luckily I didn’t have a thousand bridesmaids! With the help of my faithful friends and sister, all went well, and the new bouquets turned out even prettier than the first (which, believe me, didn’t seem possible).

We finished off the bouquets with a simple bow of thick crochet lace. We left the stems rough because I like the look of wildflower bouquets – organic, natural. All the flowers turned out lovely. I don’t think I could have been happier with a florist!

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So overall, doing your own flowers comes with risks. The real question is whether you are willing to take those risks. If you are inclined to crack under pressure, then making your own bouquets is probably not for you. Likewise, if you don’t enjoy the simple pleasure of arranging flowers, don’t do it. However, I will always advocate boutonnieres that will last and headbands that can be worn again. Those keepsakes are just priceless.

🙂

Oh Sweet Love – I’m Married! (This Post Is All About My Perfect DIY Wedding)

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Ten days ago I became a wife and, needless to say, I am currently residing in a quagmire of marital bliss. Life is fantastic as a married woman so far. Apartment decorating, making roasts in the crockpot for my husband, etc etc. All I can say is ❤ ❤ ❤

I would like to take this post to brag about my perfect wedding. Essentially the whole shindig was Do-It-Yourself, so this post will contain a plethora of sneak peaks for DIY posts to come. It’s more about the day, though, than the crafts. It was a beautiful wedding, and I kinda just want to talk about it.

Notice my headband and his boutonniere. *Handmade items; post to follow*

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First off, every one always said I was a courageous soul for planning an outdoor wedding at the end of July in Iowa. Normal weather conditions: HOT, humid, windy. It was a risk, but I wanted what I wanted, and the chance was well worth the worry. The day was a perfect one for a wedding – mid 70s, slight breeze, and not a drop of rain in sight. The hollyhocks and sunflowers were blooming in the garden and storms from the week before had revived the grass to a vibrant green.

So a utopian day was the backdrop to a painstakingly planned event – a whimsical, woodsy affair, complete with homemade jam, papier-mache woodland creatures, and yard games.

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We got married amid the flora and fauna of Whiterock Conservancy in Coon Rapids, Iowa. Our ceremony overlooked the rolling hills carved out from glaciers thousands of years ago. The long grass danced in the wind behind us as sweet words were spoken about the roots of love and glorious blessings of the One above.

I walked down the aisle to “Liz on Top of the World” from the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack, which has been my favorite musical soundtrack since eighth grade. It’s only fitting I would walk down the aisle to it. If I had to name a favorite part of the ceremony, though, it would be the Tree Watering Ceremony. Instead of the Unity Candle, we decided to go with a Unity Tree – to symbolize the growth of love, the endurance of it, and the fruits it can produce (ours is an apple tree). I had a great time painting the pot. It is simply a large plastic planter from Lowe’s that I adorned with florals and deer and our wedding date.

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The ceremony was literally straight from my dreams. Every part of it was magical, even when I was hidden on the second level, screened-in porch right next to the ceremony site, spying on guests as they sat and watching the grandparents, parents, and wedding party walk down to “Secret Life of Daydreams” for the processional. Then, being pronounced Man and Wife was probably the happiest moment of my life. Thinking about it still brings tears to my eyes.

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Much fun was to be had at the reception as well. We had bean bag toss, yard scrabble, badminton, croquet, a plant-your-own-flowers stand, and a little bit of dancing. For guest favors, my mom, sister, and I slaved for hours on some homemade jam! Of course, being who we are, we could not settle for mere ordinary flavors. Our flavors were:

  1. Honey Peach Vanilla
  2. Beet Apple
  3. Vanilla Grapefruit Marmalade
  4. Maple Strawberry Vanilla
  5. Blueberry Peach (sugar free)
  6. Apple Tomato Lemon
  7. Perfect Peach
  8. Strawberry Marmalade
  9. Blueberry Lavender

Experimenting with flavors was 90% of the fun. Making jam itself is such a great time, too, though!

ceremony jam 2ceremony jam

Finally, for our masterful cake. You may recognize the cake topper. It worked absolutely perfectly on this traditional Norwegian cake called Kransekake. It is not your normal cake – fluffy, sinfully sweet, etc – but rather more similar to a cookie. It is made out of almond paste, sugar, and eggs. That’s it, and it is delicious. While I myself did not bake this cake (a friend of my grandma’s did), my sister and I put it together on the morning of the wedding. Funny story, actually. The wedding was at 2. We were supposed to start getting ready with the photographer present at 10:00. All morning we were so busy decorating and making bouquets that we completely forgot about constructing the Kransekake! At 10:15 we rushed into the kitchen, and yet it still turned out absolutely lovely. I couldn’t have paid a million dollars for a prettier cake.

wedding cakewedding cake pic

With all that said, all that’s left is: BAM! happily ever after. Hopefully the rest of our life together will be as breathtaking, whimsy-full, and perfect as our wedding day was.