Wedding Creeping. . . .

It’s true: I love weddings, and I love creeping. Put them together? You get a three-year old bride who enjoys being awkwardly nosey, snooping around, and snapping phone photos every time the word “wedding” is even uttered – especially if the word is used in regards to a venue or decor or florals or letterpress or – ok, anytime, really. This past weekend my mama and I were shopping downtown McKinney, my lil’ hometown, when lo and behold we stumble across a new and absolutely shabby chic venue known around those parts as The Flour Mill.

The_Flour_Mill_in_McKinney,_TexasThis little diamond in the rough is teeming with culture and history, and I’m telling you right now that had this place been around three years ago, I most certainly would have seized the opportunity to lock down such a fine piece of my hometown history. Erected in 1872 by the Farmer’s Alliance, the McKinney Flour Mill was one of the earliest mills associated with the developing grain processing industry. Years and years (and years) later, it sat unused but occupied by scores of industrial antiques, immaculate hardwood architecture, and a few wispy cobwebs that were easily wiped away when the decision came to renovate the historic beast of a building. Today, with all its rustic charm and grandeur, the Flour Mill is now home to several businesses and the backdrop for events such as – you guessed it – elegant weddings that make you gasp upon entering. And luckily, for mama and I, that’s exactly what we got to do as we creeped on into the Flour Mill to find a breathtaking wedding being set up for the evening. . .

Baby's Breath Wreath at the Flour Mill, McKinney TXAbout the time I realized that we had stumbled onto a wedding day decor gold mine, I started punching myself in the face for forgetting my professional camera. Alas, the iPhone camera only caught a few decent photos to share the loveliness we were able to play party to, if only for a a few minutes. . . .

Lemonade Station at the Flour Mill, McKinney TXFavors at the Flour Mill Venue, McKinney TXFlour Mill, McKinney TX, Photo: Emily Davis PhotographySo, of course, you can creep on more suitable examples of weddings at the McKinney Flour Mill (as I was forced to above with Emily Davis Photography) right here – which I highly recommend doing, especially if you’re a shameless wedding creep like me.  And if you’re looking for more contact information. . . .

Contact: Andrea Johnson . 972-259-0034 jamajohnson@me.com

sweet and succulent. . . .

Staircase of SucculentsOkay, I’m officially obsessed with succulents. Perhaps it’s the Texas heat. Maybe it’s their sassy spikiness. Could be because no two look alike and the possibilities for mixing and matching and styling are endless. But it’s most likely due to the fact that I’ve been mesmerized by the ways in which people are utilizing the desert flowers in everything from front yard designs and boutonnieres to table arrangements and wedding cakes. . . .

Succulent Cake via Wedding Wire // Coco Paloma Desserts, Austin TX

Succulent Cake via Wedding Wire // Coco Paloma Desserts, Austin TX

So I did what I do best – wasted spent hundreds of hours ogling online sites and picking out the best-of-the-best succulent arrangements and fixtures for all of our homes (and desktops and walls…) to enjoy. . . .

Sweet and Succulent Fixtures | Pretty Worthy1. 100 Succulents $100, SucculentJungle on Etsy // 2. Potted Succulent Stamp $11, Creatiate on Etsy // 3. Napkin Ring Set of 4 $19.80, Z Gallerie // 4. Succulent Wedding Invitation $10, Oak and Orchid on Etsy // 5. Succulent Wreath $74.99, Nearly Natural // 6. Potted Desert Flower $9.95, Crate & Barrel // 7. Tea Towel Calendar $10.50,  Spoonflower, Emily Ann Studio // 8. Succulent Rectangle Planter $69.99, Z Gallerie

worthy weekending. . . .

At the Colonial Country ClubHow was your three-day weekend?! Enjoyable? Relaxing? We spent the long stretch lounging on the Colonial golf course at the Crown Plaza Invitational in Fort Worth (as seen above and below), and I must say it was quite a delightful way to spend Memorial Day weekend. Obviously, I had a few outfits picked out that would combat the sweatiness of that Texas heat. . . .

Colonial Weekend. . . but as the weekend went on, I found myself having trouble picking out the perfect duds to match the super preppy/comfortable golf-appropriate attire. Alas, I took to a few of my favorite sites for some reasonable options – yanno, to be prepared for next season’s Colonial! :)

Summer Golf Course Duds1. Anchor Stacking Rings $88, Coach // 2. White Headband $14, Lacoste //3.  Sleeveless Bold Stripe Drop Waiste Dress $185, Lacoste // 4. Anchor Crossbody Bag $10.50, Old Navy // 5. Quay Retro Sunglasses $38, Nordstrom // 6. Banded Fedora $48, BCBG // 7. Slip-on Boatshoe $85, Sperry Top-Sider // 8. Beach Towel $95, Vineyard Vines

Maxi-mum Style. . . .

fort worth music festivalHappy Monday everyone! How was your weekend? Do anything fun? See anything noteworthy? We sure did at the Fort Worth Music Fest, a weekend long outdoor festival with lots of sweet jams (Delta Spirit, Old 97s, The Walkmen, etc.), good food, and ridiculous weather. I had to share the cloud-shot my husband took because it really was breathtaking. . . .

. . . .but no festival is complete without a festival outfit! While I picked up a pair of ultra-comfy leather sandals from Madewell before the concert, Lauren, a super chic buddy of mine, posted a picture of a fabulous striped maxi dress I just had to get my hands on. I was beyond excited when she told me it came from Target – and for only $29.99! Yet ANOTHER reason to be head-over-heels in love with Target. . . .

Madewell Sandals and Target Maxi

Mossimo Knit Maxi $29.99, Target

Mossimo Knit Maxi $29.99, Target

Slingback Boardwalk Sandal $47.50, Madewell

Slingback Boardwalk Sandal $47.50, Madewell

Maxi Knit Dress from Target

Summertime DIY: Monogrammed Washers Boards. . . .

DIY Monogrammed Washers BoardsWhen we woke up this morning, we needed a project. Bad. We just couldn’t figure out what to project on. Nothing needed fixin’ or renovating or refurbishing. Nothing. So we became bored – which is not a very attractive look on my husband and I because we always have to be doing something – anything! As we drank our coffee on the deck, we looked around at our rather boring backyard and decided it needed something – anything – some entertainment for those backyard BBQs and shindigs we’re so fond of having. And that’s when it hit us: Washers. ((Otherwise known as “Southern Horseshoes” to all you Southern Belles out there.)) Not familiar with either term?! Washers is a game that can be found at any tailgate or local outdoor burger joint here in Fort Worth. Basically you and your opponent are trying to throw some little metal washers into three little holes – which sounds much easier than it actually is ((especially after a few margaritas. . .)). The full directions to the game can be found here ((or down below)), but if you’re already intrigued (and you love anything monogrammed), here’s a list of the supplies you’ll need to get started on your own Washers game boards. . . .

Supplies for Monogrammed Washers BoardsYou’ll also need (8) some cardboard or extra paper to stencil the monogram on (trust me – stenciling is the way to go for this project!), (9) extra pins to keep the stencil steady on the boards, and (10) a big strapping man to help you drill some big ass holes in the board – because trust me, I thought I could just saw my little way through and now both our saws are broken and gone ((RIP hand saws)). OR, if you are experienced with a speed saw (shown below with big strapping man), just make sure you use protection for your eyes/face/hands/body/etc. . . .

Monogrammed Washers Boards DirectionsDIRECTIONS:

  • With each piece of wood (ours were salvage – so much cheaper and resourceful) – both roughly measure 36″ x 18″, 1/2″ sanded plywood – (carefully) drill three 4″ holes about 5″ apart. Once the first board is drilled, you can use it to measure out the second board, just to certify they are equal
  • Once holes are drilled and carved out, go ahead and fully spray paint both boards. You can also use paint, but spray paint is always my best friend. Choose any color you want, too – I just went with beautiful baby blue because, well, it’s always my first choice. . . .
  • Onto a cardboard or hard piece of paper that will be a stencil for the monogram, sketch out your monogram! You can fashion your monogram in any way you want, but I knew I wanted the rounded form to match the circles. I started by drawing a huge circle with a big dish I had in the kitchen (everything is a resource these days) and then sketching out the monogram from there. There’s tons of copies/examples available online, but this website helped most because it showed all the letters.
  • Cut out monogram with your handy X-Acto knife – again, very carefully!
  • Attach new monogram stencil to the first board and secure so that the paint job your about to do doesn’t get all sloppy-like.
  • Paint that monogram! We used white because I knew it’d POP, but feel free to use any color – or multiple colors!
  • Once dry, remove stencil and start working on the other board. . . .
  • Once both are dry take the other two pieces of plywood and attach with nails to the back part of the board so that it forms an incline. This will allow your opponent (and yourself) to easily see the targets. We also painted the back of the boards white to match the monogram, but again, it’s up to you. . .
  • Grab your washers (we spray painted ours yellow and green) and start playing Washers!

Washers with the new boardsAlright, Ryne is totally cheating in this picture – he’s way too close to the board – but you’d never know without some game rules! Here’s some official rule making. . . .

WASHERS RULES (via Bombast Washers):

  • You’ll need two teams of two friends.
  • The hole closest to you is worth 1 point, the middle hole is 3 points and the hole furthest from you is worth 5 points.
  • The distance between your washer boards should be 10′ from front of board to the front of the opposite board.
  • To determine who will “pitch” first to start the game each player will toss one washer toward the opposite board and whomever gets closest to the highest point hole will be the first to throw. After the game has started the person or team who scored last throws first.
  • Player A will pitch their 3 washers (one at a time) toward the opposite board followed by player B. Scoring is determined after both players have pitched all of their washers. Only 1 player may score per round but can score points for all washers that are closer than their opponents. (a round is when each player has thrown all 3 washers). Points will cancel meaning that if Team of Player A gets a 3 pointer and Team/Player B gets a 5 pointer then team B gets 2 points.
  • The winner is the first team to reach 21 points.
  • OR, you can do what we always do after a few rounds of beer and make up our own rules. It’s your choice – but make sure you are HAVIN FUN ((and looking awesome!))!

Monogrammed Washers Boards 2

App Alert: A Beautiful Mess. . . .

A Beautiful Mess 1APP ALERT! APP ALERT! APP ALERT for the SWEETEST phone app out there right now: A Beautiful Mess! Maybe I’m the last to know about it, but when I saw these little trick designs showing up on my Instagram the other day, I jumped right into the picture party with a few photo dressings of my own. . . .

A Beautiful Mess 2This beautiful app-baby spawned from Elsie and Emma of A Beautiful Mess lifestyle blog ((check them out!)), this 99 CENT app allows you to choose any photo(s) from your photo library and go design c-r-a-z-y with filters, boarders, text, doodles, and sweet phrases. The combinations are endless – and even more so with purchasable extra packages, also available at the iTunes store. You’ll need iOS 6 or later to download it, and you’ll also need to be connected to Wi-Fi while using it, per A Beautiful Mess blog. But those are the only requirements needed to have a couple minutes – hours – of downtime with your phone and favorite photos. . . .

A Beautiful Mess 3A Beautiful Mess 4As if you needed another App to keep you distracted from work all day long. . . oh, well! A Beautiful Mess might just become your new favorite toy. . .

Any other app recommendations?? I could play all day. . . .

Sunny Side Up. . . .

So my husband and I have a rather large number of events to go to in the next month – which is really nothing to complain about except for the fact that it will require a whole slew of new outfits and I’m still on one of those budget thingys. And while budgets tend to mean I have to lay off the J.Crew shopping sprees for a while – it doesn’t mean J.Crew Factory sprees are completely off the table! Luckily, our local outlet had just gotten in a massive new shipment of summer dresses – much like the one’s I’ve been drooling over for the past few months, but just couldn’t bare to hand over the dough for the original $158 price tag. And it’s a really great thing I didn’t cave because the same sweet yellow dress was just awaiting me for a whopping $84 – with an additional 30% off everything in the store! Yes, it was a shopping miracle: a $60 bargain that looks far more fancy than $60!

SunnySideUp1Pleated Shift Dress $84.50, J.Crew Factory // Panacea Necklace (old) like this one // Studs (old) like these // Franco Sarto Wedges (old) like these // Forever 21 Woven Belt (old) like this one!

But then, as usual, I started throwing everything that looked yellow in my shopping bag and realized I was beginning to have a problem. I love yellow! – and I’m not afraid to admit it! Especially during these pre-summer days when the sun is heating up and the patio parties are just getting started. So of course, I’ve started a bright and sunny catalogue of all yellow must-haves I plan on collecting this summer. . . .

SunnySideUp21. Sleeveless Blouse $19.99, Target // 2. Weldon Belt $85, Ted Baker // 3. Crystal Earrings $67.50, The Outnet // 4. Diamond Drop Ring $14, Panacea // 5. Nail polish ‘Amchoor’ $19, NARS // 6. Snakeskin Crossbody Bag $295, Tory Burch // 7. Pineapple Paddle Set $24, Anthropologie // 8. Macao Loafer $78, Anthropologie // 9. Pleated Jacquard Skirt $79.90, ZARA

Mamas and Monograms. . . .

mamaandmonogramsHappy belated Mother’s Day to those of you hot mamas out there who *hopefully* had a beautiful Sunday being pampered and prettied all day long! We had a lovely time with mama yesterday – as you can see from our inability to keep a straight face in any photo taken (these were two of about ten takes)! She’s my inspiration, my rock, and my best friend – so happy to still live so close by because we always keep things entertaining. Love you, mama!

. . . .oh, and perhaps you’ve noticed in the pictures above my absolutely ADORABLE monogrammed tank top my husband very sneakily purchased off Etsy! As a summer vacation present for finishing a very, very (very, very) long semester, he surprised me with the treat Friday, and I am YET to take it off  – no, seriously, I love it!

mamaandmonogram2Monograms Express Tank Top on Etsy $25 // Tory Burch Aida Glitter Flip Flops $60

But his gift really made me remember (1) monograms rock and they should appear everywhere and anywhere they can and (2) monograms are EVERYWHERE on Etsy!! So many companies are ready and willing to take down your initials and spin those puppies right into your new favorite had or sweatshirt or iPhone case – seriously, there are so many options, but here are a few of my favorite things. . . .

Monograms11. Necklace 45.99, Monogram Personalized // 2. Floppy Hat $21.95, Monogram Express // 3. Pullover Sweatshirt $27.95, Teta Active Apparel // 4. iPhone 5 Case $20.99, Create It Your Way // 5. Stud Earrings $9, Pish Posh Pendants // 6. Tumbler $10, Decal Innovations // 7. iPhone Charger Decals $3, Four Pandas

Sweet Spot: Magnolia Cheese Company

MagnoliaCheese1During my blog hiatus, the hubs and I have ate and drank our way through Fort Worth, and it’s been worth the extra pounds we’ve been gaining since there are SO many new places to wine and dine these days. Our favorite lately: Magnolia Cheese Company, the quaintest little café and artisan cheese shop on the sweetest little corner of up-and-coming Magnolia Avenue near Southside. Even if you don’t live in the area and can’t enjoy a big ol’ Texas Cheese plank (that’s the delicious treat you see above!), you can at least enjoy their beautiful logo design, heavenly blue painted walls, and chalkboard menu board. If Anthropologie suddenly decided to open a cheese shop, this little gem would be exactly what they’d envision. Specializing in wines, cheese, local fare (we picked up an awesome jar of honey), and big tasty sandwiches that make me drool just thinking about them, this sweet spot is a must-visit when you finally make your way over to the Fort. We’ll save you a seat!  :)

MagnoliaCheese2MagnoliaCheese3** You can find Magnolia Cheese Co. at: 1251 W Magnolia AveFort WorthTX.(817) 945-2221 **

I’ve been shady. . . .

IMG_6859

Ran Ban New Wayfarer in Tortoise & Beige, $125, Neiman Marcus

Well, well, well, lookie who we have here. A blogger returning to her post after months and months (and months…) of absence, brought on by stacks on stacks (on stacks…) of reading and writing and student handling and dissertation writing and MAKE IT STOP!  AHHH! I was losing my mind until about 2:00 today when all the madness STOPPED, and all the work was done! Yes, I am back! So please accept my very, very sincere apology and this lovely picture of a fabulous pair of Ray Bans I picked up from Neiman Marcus to reward myself, and get ready to hear from me a lot more frequently than every before. . . .it feels so good to be back!! :)

shady2

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