//Is It Too Late to Elope??

Okay, so I'm just kidding...sort of. In reality, I have no reason to complain about wedding planning. My family is generously paying for much of it, with Josh's side footing the rest of the bill. And speaking of Josh, he is an involved and enthusiastic fiancé (which helps immensely!). But being a full-time law student in her last semester, dreading taking the bar exam in July, it can weigh heavily on you as you finalize the guest list and schedule appointments with vendors and work on the gazillion DIY projects you (foolishly) decided to take on.

It is almost the end of February and the wedding is approximately 8 months away. 8 months?! When did that happen?? As I look at the checklists I've been Pinning and scouring the web to add things to the "planning folder"--which is really an accordion file, because I'm a nut!--I think of all the things left in these remaining months. Plus, since I'll be studying for the bar exam in June and July, those two months will be blacked out for me and I'll be relying almost solely on Josh to make decisions and whatnot.

It seems like a lot has yet to be taken care of, but there is also a lot done, too.

  • Bridesmaids have gone to try on their dresses, with ordering information sent out
  • Appointments have been set up to try on wedding dresses (in less than a month! AHH!)
  • Photographer has been booked
  • Engagement session has been booked
  • Guest list has been completed (just working on addresses)
  • Ring "pillow" has been made
  • Lots of decorations and centerpiece items have been made/assembled
  • Appointment with the bakery has been made for a tasting
  • Invitations have been chosen (and soon ordered!
  • Honeymoon planning is almost done
  • Bridesmaid gifts have been purchased
  • Bought wedding shoes and clutch
  • Bachelorette party has been "booked" (my MOH is keeping pretty much everything but the date and location a secret from me)
  • First dance song has been selected
  • Other things that I struggle to remember because, c'mon, there is only so much I can keep in this ol' noggin'
The church and banquet hall have long ago been booked and the band was booked not too long after, so thankfully we don't have that to worry about.

There is still a lot to do, but I've got a good team helping and for that I am extremely grateful! 

I'm suuuper nervous about going wedding dress shopping because I've never been good with clothes shopping (especially dress shopping). My body and I have always been at odds, so the idea of trying on wedding gowns for three days at four different salons is giving me major anxiety. I admit I have been watching a lot of "Say Yes to the Dress" and in some ways it has made me feel better because I see what certain dresses can do for you. For example, I never would have considered a mermaid-type gown because I would think it's too fitted, but if it laces in the back you can actually shape your body somewhat with the corseting. Now I'm really excited to try those dresses on! But we'll see in the end what makes it. I tell my guy everything, so it will be really tough keeping the dress a secret for seven months!

Other things to do in the coming couple of months:
  • Buy the wedding dress, veil, and other accessories
  • Figure out bridal shower
  • Book the honeymoon
  • Finish Pre-Cana (we're having a Catholic ceremony)
  • Compile a photography checklist for the wedding
  • Work on song list (I'm still looking for just the right father-daughter song...)
  • Order invitations (after getting the rest of the addresses)
  • Josh needs to purchase groomsmen gifts
  • Buy flower girl/ring bearer gifts
  • Finalize the menu
  • Find a florist
  • Finish up my DIY projects (paper flowers, guestbook, marquee letters, signage...)
  • Schedule meeting with priest
  • Schedule rehearsal
  • Pay the balance of the photo booth rental
  • Book hair stylist and makeup artist
  • Buy wedding bands (they're already picked out)
  • Book hotel rooms
So yeah, it probably would have been easier to elope ;) But man, our parents would have killed us. I know that both sides of the family are just as excited as we are for this wedding and that amount of love is an amazing feeling. So even though there are moments when I think planning a wedding is insane, I'm still so over the moon to marry my best friend and soulmate that I can't help but smile and trudge on. It's all going to be worth it in the end :)

//Galentine's Day 2015!!!


A couple of things you should know about me: 1) I am obsessed with Parks and Recreation and 2) I love my lady friends. Galentine's Day is a holiday created by Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) that occurs on February 13 and is all about celebrating your relationships with your ladies! How great! I love that concept because whether you're single, taken, or "it's complicated," your girlfriends will always be your most amazing relationships, I think.

So anyway, I put together a fun set of gift ideas to give your ladies on Galentine's Day (or get for yourself because A) did you SEE that amazing Ron Swanson print?!? and B) you freakin' deserve it!).

Also, if you don't watch Parks and Rec, GO RIGHT NOW AND WATCH IT ON NETFLIX. If you do watch it, go back and watch it again. Keep watching it. It's amazing and I'm so sad it's ending.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

6 / 7 / 8

//Inspiration Thursday: Paige Evans

No big surprise here--I love to scrapbook. I've been scrapbooking for about 15 years and during all that time, I've come across some majorly talented people. One of those individuals is someone whose work I always fawn over. This week's source of inspiration is Paige Evans.

I don't remember the first time I saw her work, but it's likely on Studio Calico's website. Her scrapbook pages are individual, unique works of art. She utilizes lots of die-cutting and layering and the textures and colors of her pages are enough to make one swoon.

Just look at some of these!!

I can't get over all of her pages. It's like a whole 'nother level of scrapbooking that I can only hope to get near. There is so much detail on each page and each time I look at one there is something new for me to see! Those kinds of pages are my favorite.

Not only is she this badass scrapbooker, she's also a momma to two kids named Fox and Jane. Plus, she creates these handmade books that are drool-worthy. PLUS she runs an Etsy shop where she sells adorable things like pacifier clips. I mean, what does this woman NOT do!?

I highly recommend checking out her website. She not only has all of her work up there--plus more!--but she also documents life overseas as an Army wife. Go Paige!

//Inspiration Thursday: Ashley Goldberg

I don't know about you guys and gals, but there are times when I feel I'm in a creative rut. I turn to the same techniques and themes over and over in scrapbooking, writing, painting, you name it! While this isn't necessarily a bad thing, sometimes I want a little "reboot," and to do that I turn to other artists for inspiration. Looking through what others have created often has a powerful influence on me because it motivates me to try new things and look at my art from a new perspective.

This feature will (hopefully) be a weekly endeavor where I will share with you artists I admire and keep bookmarked whenever I need a little shake-up in my routine. 

The first artist featured is Ashley Goldberg. The first time I became familiar with her work was when she collaborated with Studio Calico by designing products for one of their monthly kits. I instantly fell in love with her take on patterns and her use of color and shapes. I've never really been one for abstract art, but something about her work changed my views on that. She has designed items for Studio Calico kits since, and every time I spot one of her pieces I hoard it like a crazy person. Am I the only one who does that? Wait, don't answer...There are also items she has designed in Studio Calico's shop (though there are fewer items currently) that are just awesome. 

Y'all, this woman does abstract work with patterns like no one else. Here are some examples of her work.

See what I mean? But hey! She's not a one-trick pony! She also does fantastic images featuring cats and girls and even typography! Just look!

She has collaborated with Studio Calico, Land of Nod, Lazzari, Paperless Post, and so many others! I think her work is fresh and modern and simply beautiful. 

Ashley even offered a class through Studio Calico on art journaling where she shared some of her favorite techniques that she uses in her everyday endeavors. Folks, even after taking her class my work pales in comparison. But the point is, she encouraged us all to be free, fearless, and have fun with it! And really, isn't that what creating art is all about?

She has an online shop where you can buy her prints and even cooler, her stamp sets! I must confess, I covet these stamps. I own darn near every one that she has put out and use them constantly in my scrapbooking and other art. 

For more information and to look at other work she has done, please visit her (newly launched!!) website

//So What's Going On, Lady?

//photo printed on vellum and placed in a "floating frame"//

Happy 2015!! Hard to believe it's a whole 'nother year already, but I'm feeling pretty damn optimistic about this one! ;)

Here at Major Stress Headquarters, I have found myself with little free time to scrapbook, read for pleasure, or anything else I normally find highly enjoyable. I have decided to do something about that and actually carve out time for my hobbies--otherwise I'm going to become boring and way less fun. No one wants that, amiright? So this past weekend, I spent two--TWO!--days getting caught up on my Project Life album. I'm not going to share shots of the full pages because, to be completely honest, they're all pretty lame. I wasn't going to much for quality because I knew that if I allowed myself 2+ hours per page, I would never get it done. I had two months of pages to work on, so I wasn't afforded the luxury of taking my time. But I WILL share some detail photos!

//a little bit of washi tape and some alpha stickers snazz up a pre-made title card//

//I used parts of a program from the musical my fiancé directed instead of including the entire thing//

//hand-drawn lines made for a nice journaling spot//

//I sewed these little Instax prints onto a transparency sheet//

In other scrapbooking news, I've decided to change up my Project Life format for 2015. I don't know what it is exactly about a new year turning over, but it really does put you in a "refreshed" mindset, doesn't it? Anyway, once I saw how far behind I was on doing my weekly PL spreads, I realized that doing a weekly page was not compatible with my lifestyle. For one thing, I tend to get way behind on my pages (see paragraph above). Secondly, I just don't have enough cool things to scrap about every week. I'm a full-time law student with no children...and there is really only so much I can write about my two dogs before I turn into a crazy person. Granted, I am in the midst of planning a wedding, but a lot of it has been "behind-the-scenes" kind of stuff. You know, booking a church and hall. Hiring a band. All of the more interesting stuff--trying on wedding dresses, tasting cakes, finding a florist--will be coming up soon and THAT is what I plan to highlight. I digress.

My updated format for PL was borrowed from Stephanie Bryan. I saw her video on Studio Calico's website and fell in love with her informal, playful, and creative album! She documents her Project Life monthly and adds in pages that are sometimes in page protectors and sometimes not, sometimes printed on photo paper and sometimes printed on vellum (a technique which I have used many times and ADORE). I like the idea of doing a monthly album because I can add as I go and don't have to dedicate an entire page to something. If I only have a program from a show I saw, I can punch holes and add it to the album. I'm not saying I can't do that in my previous approach to PL, but I'm all about consistency. Therefore, simply adding some ephemera to my album amongst all my weekly spreads would feel very strange for me. And hey, if you don't like something when undertaking an artistic endeavor, why keep doing it? It's not going to serve you any good and isn't that kind of the point? I'm planning on finishing up the January section of my album (because I'm keeping all the months in as few albums as I can get away with, instead of creating a separate album for each month) and then sharing photos of the pages. I'm also considering making a video describing some of the techniques I used in the album, but that all depends on whether I can figure out all this technology stuff. I'm kind of hopeless...

//current view of workspace (that mini-page you see looks VERY different now that it's completed)//

Aside from all of that fun scrapbooking stuff, it's been business as usual. The Boy and I have selected (but not yet purchased) our wedding bands, settled on a menu for the reception, and finalized our gift registries. Things are progressing on Operation: Get Hitched and that makes me super happy. School is going fine for now, but I imagine things are about to get really interesting once the semester really gets rolling.