1 Happy Halloween!

So . . . 

I know you're simply dying to find out which costume Zelda sported while trick-or-treating tonight . . . 

With thirteen votes, the ram (go Heels!) came in first place. (Cocky was a close second, receiving ten votes.)

Although Heidi is way too cool for costumes, when she found out we were going to walk through the neighborhood and check out all the trick-or-treaters, she agreed to wear her Gamecock bandana. 

Man, I love these girls.

Tod loves them, too, of course.

And believe it or not, we were not the only fools out walking dogs in costumes.

We had a great time cruising the neighborhood and checking out everyone's Halloween decorations and costumes.

Happy Halloween, y'all! We hope you have a safe and happy holiday.

AND NOW . . . 

I know you're dying to find out who won the $25 gift card, right? 

Well . . . drumroll please . . . 

Thanks to the true random number generator at random.org, the winner is Matt Sparrow. Look forward to your prize, Matt!

Okay thanks, everyone, for participating. It honestly has been such a wonderful challenge to blog every single day for the last 31 days, and I'm happy to say that I succeeded. I'm going to take a break from the daily blogging, but I do plan to blog at least two or three times a week, so check back often if you enjoy this little slice of the internet. Thanks again for all your votes! 


30 Election Day Practice

There's a big election going down next Tuesday, and regardless of your politics, I hope you'll take the time to vote.

To help you get ready for next week's big election, I thought I'd throw a little election of my own, you know, so you can warm up your voting muscles by helping us decide a very important issue in our house.

You see, our Zelda, who can be terribly indecisive (which toy? whose lap?), simply cannot decide what she wants to be for Halloween. And yes, just like many little ones all across this country, she's got several options at the ready. 

So let's take a vote. (Leave your name--or some other way for me to identify you--and your vote in a comment by 5:00 p.m. on October 31 for a chance to win a $25 BP gift card. The winner will be chosen randomly using random.org. I will announce the winner tomorrow night and will ask the winner to email me his/her address. And yes, this is my first ever giveaway, but I'm just so thankful for those of you who have stuck with me for this 31-day series that I figure y'all should at least have the chance to be compensated for your time! Oh, and bonus question: what are you and/or your dog/child going to be for Halloween?)

Option A: Pumpkin

 Option B: Ram
 Option C: Bride
 Option D: Cocky
Okay, get voting!


0 Black/White

Yesterday I showed you a white/black transformation. Today I'm going to show you a couple black/white transformations.

You may remember Tod's old queen headboard from back in his bachelor days.

When Tod sold his house, we sweet-talked his parents into storing the bed for a few months until we had a chance to lug it down to the beach house, where we hoped to use it in place of the existing foot-boarded double bed, which just wasn't quite cutting it for my long shanks.

As it turns out, we must be really good at this sweet-talking thing (or else Tod's parents are just really sweet), because in addition to talking them into storing the bed, we also talked them into helping us lug the bed to the beach. 

From there, it was all me. Well, all me and a few more cans of heirloom white spray paint than I'd like to admit. Tod thought I was sort of crazy to even bother painting it, but I really wanted to beach-ify it a bit so it would go better with everything else I've been working on in our room at Pawleys.

The lighting is not so great in this pic, but you can get the idea.

Got dogs?
Oh, and do you recognize some of the fabric on the bed? Remember how I told y'all that I fully intended for our wedding fabric to live a second life? Well, that's exactly what it's doing in the form of duvet covers and pillow shams, made by my mom with lots of love. More about that later.

As for the bedside tables in the above pic, as it just so happens, they also made the black-to-white transformation.


To white:


0 White/Black

Today was the perfect day for a quick (20 minute!) Sunday afternoon project. 


 To black:


0 Marcus

In Gaelic, the name Marcus means "hammer."

In Latin, it means "polite, shining." It also means "war-like" or "dedicated to Mars" (Mars, of course, being the Roman god of war after whom the month of March is named).

And . . . in Gamecock, I'm pretty sure the name just means "awesome."

We were so very sad to see you get hurt today, heartbroken actually. (Zelda was especially heartbroken as you're definitely her favorite player. In fact, there's a good chance she learned the best way to run away from the bath specifically from watching you.)   

We love you, Marcus, and we're behind you all the way. 

By the way, Tennessee, thanks for an amazing show of respect and sportsmanship today.


0 Platte Grond De Stad Amsterdam

Tod and I spent several days of our honeymoon in Amsterdam.

Neither of us had been before.

What was our favorite thing about Amsterdam? 

Pretty much all of it. You know, the tulips, the canals, the buildings, the food, the museums, the bikes, the beer, the shopping, yeah, you get the idea. 

But more about those things later. 

Because today I'm going to tell you about our Amsterdam flea market find. (That's right, I dragged Tod to a flea market on our honeymoon. I just couldn't help myself, but Tod's a good man, and he loves me (a lot), so he was willing to indulge my junking needs, even on our honeymoon.) 

As far as flea markets go, and even European ones at that, this market was pretty standard. You could find pretty much anything, or, if you asked Tod, you could find "lots of junk." Yeah, well, "lots of junk" just translates to "lots of fun" in my world.

When I came across a booth where an old man was selling coins, photographs, stamps, and prints, I knew what I wanted. I looked around and sure enough, in the corner I found a stack of prints of old maps of Amsterdam. Bingo! Tod and I flipped through all of them and agreed on our favorite one, the one on which we could actually find (and read) the street name where our hotel was. Then came the hard part: talking the old man down from ten euros to seven euros, which was all the cash we had on hand at the time. 

I'm not much of a negotiator, but luckily Tod is, so the map was ours, for seven euros no less. 

We lugged that map (carefully, of course) from Amsterdam to Belgium, then back to France, then to Dallas and from there to Charlotte and then home to Charleston. And when I came across a 50% off plus an additional 25% off coupon for the frame shop at Michael's, I knew exactly what I wanted to frame.

I just picked it up the other day, and I absolutely love it. (It's the first time I've gone for triple matting!) Now I've just got to find a place to hang it on our already well-covered walls . . . .  Wish me luck on that one.


0 Back to the fabric

A few weeks ago I showed you swatches of the fabric we found at the mill for the wedding. In case you've forgotten what it looked like, here's another picture.

I've already shown you how my mom used the green denim and some of the off-white wispy-looking fabric to create corsages, boutonnieres, and my bouquet.

I've also shown you the neutral Ikat fabric that we used on the table that held the Scrabble sign and the Pawleys Island book our guests could sign, as well as the lovely linen that found its way to the cupcake table

In addition, you've seen the fabric we used for the Friday night barbecue: the burlap, the linen, the stripey-looking stuff and the gingham.

As for the giraffe fabric, we intended to use it as to be a tablecloth on the kids' dining table. That never happened, however, because once the bad weather hit, the caterers had to re-group and move everything, and the kids' dining table was simply out of luck. Oh well. The fabric is still pretty cute, and we think it's funny because I'm tall and Tod's not, but I'm pretty sure y'all have already gotten that joke.

Okay, so now don't you really want to see what we did with the red and white polka-dotted fabric? 

Oh good, I thought so. 

We used it on the bar! Pretty cute, huh?

And the blue striped denim? (You say Navajo; I say Ralph Lauren-ish.)

Well, it covered the buffet tables as well as the tables where our guests sat to eat.

Now, if you know me, then it shouldn't surprise you a bit to discover that I fully intended for this fabric to live a second life (at the beach, no less) after our wedding. And, after sweet-talking my mom into helping (by turning her living and dining room into a sweatshop), I'm so happy to say that the fabric is now living that second life! Details and pictures soon.


1 Little People

(Don't worry, this post is not about that show on TLC.)

For Christmas last year, my sister's children gave Tod and me the Fisher-Price Little People bride and groom set.

So naturally, when it came time to choose which bride and groom cake toppers we'd like to place on the small carrot cake that we planned to cut--either my mom's mom's or Tod's mom's mom's--we decided it may be best to avoid that controversy entirely by going with the Fisher-Price set from the children. Plus, we thought they matched perfectly the children's book themed cupcakes, right? 

The funny thing is: in all the crazy weather and wedding excitement, we completely forgot to cut and eat the bride and groom cake on our wedding day. I'm sure that's some sort of giant wedding no-no, but I'm okay with it because we definitely made up for our lack of wedding-cake-cutting by eating lots of cupcakes on Saturday . . . and Sunday . . . and Monday. (Yes, Tod and I even enjoyed a wedding cupcake or two on our Monday drive to the airport to depart for our honeymoon. They were that good.) 

Although our Fisher-Price Little People bride and groom toppers may not be heirloom-worthy pieces like our grandmothers' bride and groom toppers, we thoroughly enjoyed using them!  


0 Let them eat (cup)cake.

While we're on the subject of ways to throw a child-friendly wedding, I think a word or two about cake is in order. Because I've yet to meet a child who doesn't like cake.

Now y'all know I didn't want a fancy wedding gown, so I guess it only makes sense that I didn't want a fancy wedding cake either. (A) I'm not a huge cake person to begin with, and (B) have y'all seen the prices people charge for those things? Crazy-town. Plus, and excuse my negativity here, but those fancy wedding cakes--while beautiful--tend to be a little on the dry side, often with crunchy icing, right?

Anyway, after deciding against cookies (my first choice) and doughnuts (my sister's suggestion), Tod and I figured we'd jump on the cupcake bandwagon, especially after we visited the Pawleys Island Bakery and spoke with the owner, who was ever so helpful. 

Here's a slightly truncated version of our conversation:

Me: We'd like about 80 cupcakes for a wedding on the afternoon of April 21. Is that something you could do? Oh, and I have a niece with a nut allergy.   

The owner: We can do 80 cupcakes, and we don't use any nut oils or cross-contaminate anything so no worries about the nuts. (My mom double-checked about this just to make sure.) Now what kind of cupcakes are we talking about?

(We sat down at a table to discuss.)

Me: Hmm, 80 cupcakes, maybe three or four different flavors, but not embellished? In other words, I want the icing to be sort of messy and homemade-looking. I've talked my mom into making little toppers so I'm just looking for simple, plain cupcakes.

The owner: Okay, I understand, no flowers or fancy icing designs. Just plain iced cupcakes that look homemade. Those won't cost as much as the regular cupcakes we sell. (The first and only time in all the wedding planning that someone gave me an initial price and then ended up lowering it.) Now, which flavors do you like? 

Me: Hmm, I like chocolate and vanilla. I like carrot cake. I like strawberry. Ooh, and raspberry. And red velvet. And dark chocolate. And butter cream. And . . . yes, I continued like that for a while until I realized I had listed every kind of cupcake on the menu and even some not on the menu. But you know what? I ended up having an epiphany. They all sounded amazing, so why not spare myself the decision and just let the cupcake maker himself choose the flavors? 

The owner: Wait, you really want me to choose the flavors? Are you sure? 

Me: Yes, I'm sure. They all sound really great, and I'd just like an assortment of whatever you think will look and taste the best. 

As you can imagine, he was a bit taken aback, and he told me as much. He said most brides were a bit more, let's say, opinionated about the cake. I gave myself a pat on the back upon hearing that because being less opinionated is actually something with which I struggle.  

Okay, so let's get back to those cake toppers I talked my mom into making. (That lady really loves me, I tell you what.) I actually had the idea one day when I was driving down Broad Street on my way home for lunch. It's like a vision of these things just popped into my head, so I called mom immediately because we all know how fleeting those visions can be. I told her my idea, and boy did she run with it. I said, "what if we decorate popsicle sticks with round cut-out pictures from children's books and stick the popsicle sticks in the cupcakes?" Of course we worked through various ideas like cutting circles from Parisian Metro maps or from maps of downtown Charleston and sticking those on the popsicle sticks or cutting circles from old photographs. We even talked about gluing lucky pennies and Scrabble tiles to popsicle sticks, but in the end we agreed that the pictures from some of my favorite children's books (think the Berenstain Bears, Richard Scarry, Matilda, and Sesame Street) would be the most fun. And because my parents' house never has a shortage of children's books lying around, my mom picked up a box of popsicle sticks, whipped out her pinking shears and some glue, and went to work. 

The results were positively beyond charming, at least if you ask me. Oh, and as for the flavors, I think we ended up with something like: vanilla/strawberry; vanilla/chocolate; dark chocolate/raspberry; chocolate/strawberry; chocolate/chocolate; and red velvet. They were delicious, and I have to say that half the fun was just looking at all the precious toppers. 

One final note about the cupcakes: do you see the white metal stands on which the plates are sitting? Mom and I found them at a thrift shop for a couple bucks a piece; they are those fold-out pot/plant holders that you can find at garden supply stores. We spray painted them white, and as luck would have it, my mom's white plates fit inside the openings perfectly. I still have them, and one day I think I'll set them on a porch and fill them with terra cotta pots overflowing with ferns and ivy.  


0 The Kids' Table

As y'all know, Tod and I welcomed children of all ages at our wedding (even a few of the grown-up kind), and to make sure those little hands didn't get too bored, we unfurled a roll of brown craft paper and spread out the Crayolas.

I'm Nantie. Get it? Auntie Nantie.
The funny thing is, the brown paper actually may have gathered more signatures than the Pawleys Island book that we set out as a guest registry, as the Great Storm of 2012 hit and the table that held the Pawleys Island book was whisked away to make room for the Great Driveway Wedding of 2012.

The good news is that a huge piece of the brown paper survived the storm. I actually pulled it out this morning to look at it because I'm thinking there just might be a few frame-worthy portions. I'll certainly let you know how that goes.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, we also planned activities and games for the children, things like throwing clothespins and beanie babies in a bucket and blowing bubbles. (Well, I say "we," but really my nieces and nephews deserve all the credit for those.) I also made sure we had a croquet set on hand because, well, because that's just something I wanted to have on hand. Of course, you now know that Mother Nature had different plans for us that day, so most of our games went un-played. Nevertheless, I assure you that we had more fun than we ever could have imagined. And anyway, good preparation is half the battle, right?


1 Happy Six Months

Who knew six months could come and go so quickly? 

Here's to many, many, many more.


1 Fun, Fun & Not So Fun

Fun = spending time yesterday with our favorite nieces and nephews.

Fun = teaching our favorite nieces and nephews how to feed Heidi and Zelda.

Not So Fun = watching the Gamecocks lose today.

Just like McKayla, Heidi is not impressed.


0 Little Red Canoe

You may remember this canoe from Monday's post.

As it turns out, a canoe on dry land is almost as much fun as a canoe in the water. 

But that's just one of those things every child instinctively knows.

And, as it turns out, a canoe on dry land also makes a great prop for photos.

Of course, a canoe on a dock also makes a great prop for photos.

But the best thing--the absolute best thing--about this little red canoe has to be the way in which it carried this bride and groom off into the sunset.

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