March 30, 2010

Things I'm loving right now - Television edition

Welcome to another edition of "things I'm currently loving on" here in my little world, TV-wise. Enjoy!

#1. HBO's miniseries "The Pacific"
I beg any of you who have HBO to seriously start watching this series. Allen and I are living and breathing by it right now - we just can't get enough of it! The series is produced by the same "Band of Brothers" crew (Spielberg, Tom Hanks, etc), so if you are even remotely a fan of that series, you will love this. I haven't even seen "Band of Brothers" (I know, I know, Allen already yelled at me) but I'm absolutely going to watch it now that I'm crazy hooked to "The Pacific". The series is based in the WWII era, and tracks the real-life stories of three Marines who fought in the Pacific post-Pearl Harbor, and it gives a totally new perspective than what we usually see on WWII (mostly the European, Nazi regime stories - and I'm not devaluing them, I'm just saying, it's a totally different perspective). I love, love, love everything about this series. If you have HBO, they play re-runs of it all the time. Even if you don't have HBO, come over to my house and watch with me, or just wait for the DVDs to come out. It will not disappoint.

#2. The Discovery Channel's "Life"
So clearly, I must be on a documentary kick lately, but this is another one that is totally worth catching. In the same way that "Planet Earth" rocked the Discovery Channel a few years ago, "Life" takes on all kinds of different animal behaviors and how they adapt to their surroundings. It is full of all of the same jaw-drop amazing videos that had me saying "How on earth did they ever capture that image" at least 50 times. Last night we watched the episode on fish. (And let's be clear, anyone who knows me knows that that freaked the crap out of me to no end). Despite the fact that fish freak me out, it was so incredible watching some of the habits and imagery that they were able to capture. I recommend seeing it on a big screen if you can, and most definitely in HD if possible. No matter what though, you will love this. I honestly think Allen was a little unsure about the series to start, but by the end of the first episode he watched he was definitely glad he caught onto it with me.

#3. HBO's "The Ricky Gervais Show"
Ok so off of the documentary track for a few, "The Ricky Gervais Show" is slowly becoming one of my new favorite shows. I loved their podcasts through iTunes, but the added animated affect is awesome. Basically, the premise of the show is for Ricky (the Fred Flinstone looking cartoon) and Stephen to basically rip on Karl (the one on the right) the entire show. But, to be fair, Karl earns the ribbing. It continuously cracks me up every week!

Other than that, things have been pretty tame around here lately. I'm ramping up for the end of the semester (yay!), ramping up for our busy season at work, and ramping up for some finalized wedding plans here soonish. We also have Easter weekend, with my sister joining coming up for the weekend so I'm super excited about that. I'll be doing my first pass at dress shopping with her and Mom on Saturday so wish me luck! (eeeeeek!) We also have our traditional kielbasa making over at my uncle's on Saturday so that will make for some yummy food. Oh, and did I mention that MICHIGAN STATE IS IN THE FINAL FOUR?! HOLLA! GO GREEN!

PS: one more thing - Happy Birthday to my old roomie Erin! Love you girly! 

March 26, 2010

Momental Designs

Happy Friday! (oh, and GO STATE!) :)

So in my search for inspiration lately, I came across a website that I absolutely, 100%, head-over-heals fell in love with: Momental Designs. The invitiations that these ladies come up with are so unique, fresh, completely girly, and just absolutely stunning! I am constantly going through their catalog online and patiently waiting every day for another blog post to come through to see what else they've been working on. Their unique style of hand-painted invitations combined with different printing processes (including letterpess!) are just incredible! I love, love, love them. Ok enough of that, here are a couple of my favs:

I think this last one has to be one of my favs. As much as I love the letterpress save the date (the middle one), I really love the hand painted flowers in this one. How gorgeous, right?! Love. Please, please check out their blog, Rice Ink, to check out more.

March 23, 2010

Adventures in Embossing

I've decided to start being a little crafty in sprucing up the paper products for our wedding. I've been looking into a few different options, and one that actually seems do-able on my end would be to do my own embossing. I know a lot of people who have done this and it has gone very well! So I have started on my own little embossing adventure and the results were great!

By the way - there are two types of embossing I'm looking at. One is blind embossing, where the image is raised on the sheet of paper but no ink is used (like a notary stamp). The other is heated stamp embossing where you stamp an image in ink, and use embossing powder and a heat gun to get a raised image on the paper - that's the one shown below.

Step 1: The Materials
I went and bought a Martha Stewart starter embossing kit (it was roughly $20 at Michael's without coupons, but since I'm all about the coupons, that definitely helped out!). It included embossing powders, an ink pad, stamps, and a stamping block. I then bought the heat gun and had some leftover cardstock at home that I used to stamp on.

Step 2: Stamping and Powdering
After I had all my materials ready to go, I took one of the stamps, affixed it to the stamping block (for this kit, the stamp just clings to the stamping block, but I've read up on other kits where you have to tape or glue them on - the cling stamp is much cleaner to work with in my opinion). I stamped it in the ink pad, stamped that on my paper, and then covered the clear stamp image with a ton of embossing powder (shown here).

Step 3: Tapping and Heating
I then picked up my piece of cardstock and tapped off all of the excess powder, revealing the image that I stamped down (shown here). I took the excess powder that I stamped off and put it back in it's original container, since it can be used again. After this, I took my heat gun and positioned it over the stamped image until you could visibly see the image gloss over. Note: I had originally tried this once with a blowdryer instead of one of the heat guns you could buy at the store (since I'm cheap and thought I could do the shortcut). It doesn't work, I promise. I held the blowdryer over the image for a good five minutes and nothing happened (and maybe that was just my crappy blowdryer). As soon as I sucked it up and bought the heat gun, the image embossed almost instantly - it's totally worth the investment if you're going to do this.

The Final Product
(sorry for the crappy camera work)

What you can't see from the photo is that the flower is glossy and the gold part actually raises up from the paper. It's a really cool finish, so I think this is the route I might go! I think Allen was pretty impressed with my craftiness, but is also slightly concerned about what this will do to our house - and possibly our kitchen table. I promise I will find a better work space for when this rolls out for the real deal. :)

I highly recommend this because it's so freaking easy, and will help anyone out that needs it for their own wedding! The catch is you have to find a stamp (or stamps in my case) that you love and want to incorporate on all of your materials. Another option is to make your own stamp, but we're going to see how the stamp hunt goes first.

March 22, 2010

Pretty Things Part 2

In continuing with posting up a bunch of pretty things I am loving on right now, we move to the invites (WOO!) which are a big part of what I've been researching lately. As many of you may know, I love all things letterpress, so I have been researching a bunch of vendors to possibly do this for the invites at least. The problem with letterpress (the only problem in my mind) is that it is very expensive to do, and I definitely don't want to risk trying to print them that way myself. One task I have been looking into is doing my own embossing, which could save me a little bit of money, and also does not take too long to do. I recently bought a test kit for this, and I'll post up my findings as soon as I go through my first test :)

Ok enough of that, onto the pretty stuff!

Today's Post: Pretty Invites I Love :)

Golf theme? Classic ;) *especially for a Mulligan*

I am all about the color (oh, the color) on this one, as well as the use of letterpress with the reverse printing.
Love how the design lines up on the insert cards, as well as the reverse reverse print on the invite (plus, that color is gorgeous!)

HOW CUTE IS THIS?! I love the vintage feel with these invites.
The Save the Date (the tag) is so cute - plus the pocket carrier for the invite and inserts.

 I really enjoy the detail in this one - I (unfortunately) didn't take down the whole suite that went with this one, but I do remember the design carrying through on all of the printed pieces, and it was really well done.

 Love the simple, but unique, layout on this one.

All fun things for a Monday morning! Enjoy! :)

Remember, if you get a chance, please help donate to Allen and I for the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk! Links to our pages are in the upper-right of the blog. Thanks so much!

March 16, 2010

Pretty Things Part 1

Ok so while I have tons and tons to update everyone on, I don't really want to talk about all of it until it's completely, 100% set in stone. So, in the meantime I will be dedicating the next couple of weeks to all of the pretty things I've been finding on the wedding blogs lately.

Today's post: Pretty Flowers I Love

Boutonniere - source: SMP

Bridal Bouquet - source: SMP

Bridal Bouquet - source: Karen Tran Florals

Centerpieces - source: SMP

 Centerpieces - source: SMP

I think you can tell the themes I'm currently already loving on ;) 

Remember, if you get a chance, please help donate to Allen and I for the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk! Links to our pages are in the upper-right of the blog. Thanks so much!

March 12, 2010

Susan G. Komen for the Cure

So I know I haven't posted in a while (my bad), and I have plenty to update on, but first I want to tell you all about something Allen and I are participating in this year - the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure.

We will be walking 60 miles over the course of three days with thousands of other women and men. Net proceeds from the Komen 3-Day for the Cure are invested in breast cancer research and community programs. One person is diagnosed with breast cancer every three minutes in the United States alone. But ten times that amount of women are considered to be high risk due to their family histories - including myself.

I want to help put an end to these risks to research new technologies, treatments, and preventative methods. That's why Allen and I are walking so far - to do something bold about breast cancer. I'll keep you all posted on this incredible adventure and the training we take on for it!

If you would like to help contribute to our fundraising efforts, please use the link at the top right to donate. Between the two of us, we have committed to raising almost $5,000, so we can use all the help we can get!