A Fun Loving Couple & Their Beautiful Mt. Madonna Wedding

The editing and layout of today’s featured wedding is a little out of the norm for me. Why? Well, because I typically don’t post so many shots of the bridal party and it’s unusual for me to use almost every single image that was submitted. But today’s wedding photographed and submitted by Rose Street Studio caused me to break all the rules because I love each and every one of these images that much. I mean, how could you not post all these bridal party images? I mean…look at how much fun they’re having!

Bride and groom Jackie and Rich originally met in high school, but didn’t begin dating until a few years ago. Their love for the outdoors and all things active, lead them to get married at Mt. Madonna in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in Gilroy, Ca. The reception was held at Jackie’s aunt’s house on a beautiful piece of property in Watsonville, Ca. Every detail was designed and put together by Jackie and her family and friends.

Photographer: Rose Street Studio

Dress Store: Jinnys Bridal

Event Venue: Mt. Madonna

Submission via Two Bright Lights

I especially love this last image! It’s the perfect ending shot :-)


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Lemon-Blueberry Poppy Seed Cupcakes with Blueberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Should it be lemon-blueberry or blueberry-lemon? I don’t know so I included it both ways. But it doesn’t really matter because the minute you bite into these yummy morsels of heavenly goodness, you’ll forget your own name let alone the name of the cupcakes 😉 Give ’em a try and tell me if I’m wrong.


3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
2 cups sour cream
1 Tablespoon of Poppyseeds
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

2 sticks butter
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoons blended blueberries
4 cups powdered sugar


Step 1:  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 24 paper liners.

Step 2:  Mix the flour, soda and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

Step 3:  Add the butter and sugar to a mixing bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time and mix thoroughly. Add the vanilla and lemon zest and mix to combine.

Step 4:  Add the dry mixture in 3 parts alternating with the sour cream, ending with dry mixture. Stir in the blueberries.

Step 5:  Fill the prepared tins two-thirds full and bake 16 to 20 minutes. Cool.

Step 6:  For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla, lemon and blueberry juice and blend until combined. Add the powdered sugar gradually until combined.

Frost the cooled cupcakes with the cream cheese frosting.

Hope you enjoy the recipe.

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Inspired By That Famous Kiss, a Sweet WWII Styled Wedding Shoot

Inspired by WWII sailors and that famous kiss as they returned home, Heather Prettyman Photography and Tamara J Events with flowers provided by The Posh Posey, put together this vintage styled wedding shoot. The dress is a vintage wedding dress, the brooch is from the 1930’s, the groom is an actual proud US Navy sailor, and the bride…her eyes say everything. They kept the colors and tones nautical but with a slight vintage feel and used special touches of drift wood and nautical styled stationery to help ground the theme. Such a cute shoot, don’t you think?

Photographer: Heather Prettyman Photography

Event Planner: Tamara J Events

Floral Designer: The Posh Posey

Other: Sacramento Waterfront


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Up-cycle An Old Polo Shirt Into a Stylish New Bag

The other day I was going through mine and The Hubby’s “clothes to donate” pile and I found this polo shirt of his. I love the navy and white stripes so an idea to turn it into a bag similar to one I recently saw on Pinterest instantly popped into my mind.

Fast forward to a couple of hours later and I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out :-)

Step 1:  I sort of “eye-balled” everything based on the size of the shirt I started with and how big I wanted the finished bag to be. So I started with a folded in half piece of tissue paper and I drew out half of the bag with the strap bases and all. Then, with the paper still folded in half, I cut the design out. FYI…by folding your design in half and cutting it that way, you will ensure your finished piece is the same size on both sides.

Step 2:  Place your pattern on your shirt wherever fits best for the pattern you want, but also leaving enough material to cut for the bottom and sides.

Step 3:  Cut out your bottom and sides. I didn’t have enough space to cut one long piece for this so I had to cut 3 separate pieces. Note:  I was not at all concerned about matching the strips from piece to piece in either direction. In fact, I think it kind of looks cool to have them mismatched.

Step 4:  Because the material of the shirt was not that heavy, I wanted to add some strength to the bag so I cut out identical pieces to the pattern I just cut from the shirt with some canvas material I had left over from another project. The only difference, I made the bottom and sides one long piece because I did have enough room with this material.

Step 5:  Sew the bottom and sides to your bag base. And sew the canvas bottom, sides and base as well.

Step 6:  Turn the t-shirt material inside out and the canvas material right side in and pin and sew them together leaving the straps and one side un-sewn.  I also sewed in a piece of elastic at the top of both side panels to give the bag a bit of a gathered look at the sides. Pull the right side of bag through your un-sewn opening. Then hand stitch the opening closed.

Step 7:  I used a belt and some hardware from a falling apart bag to connect my straps. Since I used one strap instead of two, it was a bit challenging to make it look clean, so I’d recommend going with two traps if you’re going to try this.

And that’s it. The Hubby’s donated shirt became my new summer bag. Cute huh?

So go on and dig through your closets to find something amazing to make a new bag out of. They’re super fun!

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An Office To Dream About

Do you have a dedicated space in your home where you can work? Or is there a pile of stuff on your dining room table where you sit with your laptop anytime any kind of “office work” needs to be done? Maybe you think you don’t have the space or maybe even because you don’t work from home you don’t think it’s necessary. I think it’s still important to have a place where you can put your computer, store your files, pay your bills and keep your life in paperwork organized. A space like this could be a small as a desk in your living area or as big as an entire room. But whatever the size, you should make it stylish and welcoming so you’ll want to go there.

You already know I’m in “office limbo” right now as my “someday office” construction has been put on hold until it makes financial sense for us to move forward on it. But…that doesn’t mean I can’t still have a pretty area to work. Everyday I’m improving my space, which happens to be in an L shaped desk on the backside of our couch in the living room. Sure it’s not ideal, but because I’m here everyday, over the past year I’ve made so many “pretty” improvements to the living room and adjacent kitchen so it’s kind of a bonus.

And…I can always dream about what the office will look like when the time comes. Below are some spaces that inspire me for my space now and what it will be like someday soon. My hope is they will inspire you to make your space prettier too!

The space below from Ballard Designs is so calming and inviting. The natural, kind of muted colors are clean and fresh and I would most definitely love to work here everyday!

This office space from Better Homes & Gardens is another area which has “Stephanie” written all over it. I love the striped chair cover and the stripe detail on the curtains.

The blue paint color in this room featured on West Elm is exactly what I want to be on the walls of my future office. Love it!

The office space below that was featured on Design Sponge is for the minimalists. And don’t you just love all that light!

Check out the skyline in the office space below from House Beautiful. Amazing, isn’t it? And the simple and clean design of the space makes it easy to appreciate the magnificent view while still being able to appreciate the inside space as well.

On a recent episode of The Nate Berkus Show , Nate toured the office space of Etsy’s corporate headquarters. Their space is cool and funky with each area decorated by the person who occupies it and they’re encouraged to design it using goods purchased from Etsy sellers. Pretty neat, huh? The space is in a loft style setting like the room featured on Desire To Inspire below where pipes are exposed and there’s lots of open space to be inspired. I love the eclectic feel.

I am so in love with the colors below from Horchow. That blue, the grays and of course the pops of yellow are all so pretty bundled together like this. Love!

In my opinion, Pottery Barn never fails when it comes to styling a room. And they’ve done it again in the room below with this lived in, approachable design.

The space below featured by House Beautiful is the ultimate open space. French Doors, a big plush couch…plus, there’s a fireplace in the room. I feel like I’d definitely be able to work in there.

I’m in love with the chair below featured in this room from Houzz.

See…even a small narrow space like the one featured below from Houzz can work beautifully to be an office area. PS…love those chic blue & brown chair!

And last but not least, look at this lovely office area from House Beautiful. I love it when an area looks good even when it’s not completely tidy. That’s my kind of design!

Alrighty then, I hope you are now inspired to either make a space to work or update your space to make it even more pretty, stylish and amazing…because you deserve it!

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Beautiful Low Country Oaks + My Fav, “Multiple Outfits” In This Fantastic Savannah, Georgia Engagement Session

Low Country Oaks are one of my favorite Southern gems. These majestic trees are so gorgeous! And as you can see from the images below, they serve as amazing backdrops for photography as well. Photographed by Evin Photography, Katelyn and Taylor’s engagement session was shot in Savannah, Georgia where these beautiful trees are abundant. And…this couple is definitely my kind of client as they brought 4, (yes count them), four outfit changes for this amazing session! People always ask why I like it when couples have multiple outfits and sometimes I have a hard time explaining because I think you need to view as much photography as I do on a daily basis to really understand. But with this session, it may be easier to explain. You see…the reason is when a couple changes their clothing several times throughout their session, the photographer is more likely than not to capture different looks…both in expressions and attitude. It makes sense don’t you think? People feel different depending on what they wear and that should come through in pictures, right? And it does. That’s why I prefer multiple outfits. And as you can see from Katelyn and Taylor’s session below, even though the difference in expressions and attitude is slight…it’s there and I love it!

Photographer: Evin Photography

Venue: Savannah, Georgia

Submission via Two Bright Lights

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How To Make These Fun & Stylish Shamballa Inspired Bracelets

I saw some similar looking bracelets in the current catalog of Eves Addiction and I said, “Oh…I could easily make those!” So I did :-) And they were so easy…you can make them too!

Here’s what you’ll need.

Some hemp cording or strong yarn


Beading cement

Tape measure



Step 1:  Determine what size bracelet you want. In the pictures here I’ve made a single bracelet, a double wrap and a triple wrap. For the single bracelet, measure your wrist to determine how long your base strand needs to be. Mine is 7″, however you need to add a bit extra for your first knot and room to tie your last knot. So I cut my base cord at 10 inches. For a double wrap I would cut at 17 inches and a triple wrap I would cut at 24 inches. Remember, your sizes may be different depending on the size of your wrist. So be sure to measure.

Step 2:  Now that you know the size of your base cord where you’ll be placing your beads, you need to cut the cord that will wrap around and in between the beads. Whatever size your base cord is, the outer cords will be triple the length. So fold your cord in half so one end has a loop and measure out triple of whatever your base is. For example, my single base is 10 inches, so the folded outer cord will be 30 inches in length, (or 60 inches unfolded). I know that seems like a lot, but you need enough to make all the knots between your beads. You may end up with a bunch left over to cut off, but better more to cut off than running out of cord in the middle of your bracelet, right?

Step 3:  Take your single bead base cord and tie a knot at the base of the double outer cords like shown above.

Step 4:  Then tie a knot with the whole thing around itself. Cut off any excess cord as shown below.

Step 5:  Add a little cement to your knot to make sure everything will stay in place. Let dry.

Step 6:  Working on a flat surface, start with the end loop closest to you and place the excess cords moving away from you. Add your bead, then take your right cord and move it under the middle base cord and take your left cord and move it over the middle cord like shown below.

Step 7:  Take the end of the right cord and push it through and under the left loop as shown below.

Step  8:  Take the end of the left cord and bring it under and through the right loop as shown below.

Step 9:  Pull both right and left cords tight to bring in your knot.

Step 10:  For the next knot you’re going to reverse the process so it will be right cord over middle, left cord under. Right cord under and through left loop and left cord over and through right loop. It all sounds a bit complicated until you actually do it. Then you’ll see how easy it is and you’ll be doing it in your sleep.

Step 11:  Now here’s where you can either add a bead or add one more knot before you add a bead, depending on how many knots you want to appear between your beads. If you choose to make one more knot, reverse the process again so you’re back to left cord over middle and right cord under and repeat process. Once you have the number of knots you want, add a your next bead and repeat the process. Continue knotting and adding beads until you’re at the length you want.

Step 12:  Once you come to the length you want, cut off any excess and tie a knot with a little excess remaining. Your knot needs to be small enough to fit through your original loop to clasp your bracelet around your wrist, but big enough that it won’t slip out.

And you’re done. Now make a million and one like I did. 😉

Just kidding. But after finishing one you’ll see how easily you can make a bunch.


Hope you enjoyed this tutorial.

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