Archive | June, 2011

(Soon to be) Out and About: Pinnacles National Monument, CA

29 Jun

That’s the photo that did it — we were sold on the offer to go camping for the holiday with this majestic view from the Pinnacles National Monument.

We’re legit campers – ok not carry-all-your-belongings-on-your-back and use a compass, but we’re definitely tent campers who don’t shower, and I own a head lamp.  Totally legit, right?

I’m super excited for our next adventure, and Sunset Magazine made me even more so.  For those of you not familiar Sunset, I recommend checking it out online even though it has a Western US slant to it for those of you who haven’t made the pilgrimage to California…yet.   You can find recipes, road trips, gardening advice and decorating ideas – honestly enough to get you lost on their site for hours upon hours.

I think Harp, the Hubs and I have a few stops to make our our road trip Friday thanks to this article.   Super fun!

Photo Courtesy of Ben…Thanks Stupid!


Optimizing Space: Creating a Craft Nook in a Spare Room

15 Jun

The Hubs and I have a great townhouse, and recently we’ve been trying to optimize our space and use every inch of our home smartly.  We have an extra room (gosh I wish it was a rumpus room simply to say I have a rumpus room) that is behind our garage and houses our washer and dryer.  It is also the path to our backyard.  Originally we intended for it to be my office/craft room.  I have to be honest I was mostly freaked out to be there by myself at night — I have an overactive imagination for sure.  It ended up as a catch-all and truly wasted space.

Now we have an official MAN CAVE – the Hubs converted the downstairs room into an oasis with a mini-fridge and giant tv.  What else does he really need?

I moved my desk and craftiness upstairs to the spare room.  We have a lot of guests from in- and out-of-town believe it or not! We must keep our spare room as one, plus I can bring myself to get rid of my old bed, which is glorious — so glorious we affectionately call her Queenie.

The room is a bit cramped.  I need to figure out how to situate and organize the closet, which we also use for coats, suitcases and paperwork (I also stuff it chock full of bags, belts and scarves).  We’re still missing a night stand and spot for the tv (when it’s not being used in the Man Cave for a dual set-up).

Here’s some inspiration I found on the interwebs – I will say much of it is a pipe dream, but it’s fun to dream!

I love the idea of using clipboards or wooden pant hangars to display notes, cards, pictures and inspiration.

I’m a sucker for floor to ceiling whimsy, and this fits that bill.  Storage is certainly an issue in my room, AND I have a lot of treasures.

These boards are for more than just putting round pegs into — gasp at the organization.  I think this is a project for my Dad next time he visits – very convenient since he’ll be staying in the same room.  I won’t let him out until it’s done!

Nice – a custom corkboard to fit around the window – very clever.

Here is a great sentiment to keep the momentum going on the room…Have Fun and Craft On Lovelies!

1. Clipboard Room; 2. Sewing Nook; 3. Peg board; 4. Corkboard; 5. Craft on

Thank You Martha Stewart: Organizing Tip of the Day

13 Jun

Just when you thought Martha Stewart couldn’t give more…she does.  Did you know she provides an Organizing Tip of the Day on her website?  Now you do.  You’re welcome.

Today’s tip is AMAZING.  My awesome father-in-law, Padre, gave me a new bike that’s a bit more hardcore than my cruiser.  I really need a basket on it although it’s a “road” bike and tough according to the men in my life.  Perhaps this could be a better idea?  I’m thinking likely not, but it’s worth a shot.

Here’s what Martha says:

This mailbox turned bike basket is so charming, it practically deserves its own address. A standard aluminum letter box is lightweight, fits gracefully over the rear tire, and provides a generous amount of storage for the goods you pick up on spins around town. The door’s latch keeps it securely closed so your items won’t slide out, even if there are a few bumps in the road.

Mount this carrier, which fits a lot more than just letters, on a flat rear bike rack.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

A Look Back…

10 Jun

The Hubs and I had a fabu time on our little getaway.  It’s amazing to see how fast a year has gone by.  We’re celebrating 370 days of Wedded Bliss today!

When we planned our wedding we knew we did not want something traditional, but not completely off-the-wall.  I had to pinky swear that I would at least wear a white or ivory dress and not come out with something outrageous (I had my mind set on a pale yellow one pre-promise).  The Hubs and I wanted to ensure a great time was had by all and frankly if you left hungry or sober, it was your own damn fault (unless you were with baby, then we had you covered with a ton of desserts to nosh on…).

Early on I was inspired by a Martha Stewart Wedding magazine spread, and from there I was hooked.  Honestly I did not fall into the trap of purchasing countless magazines, and I was lucky to have some books handed down to me to answer some of those crazy questions that pop up when planning.  (I’ve since paid it forward and shared them with another bride…Share the Wealth!)

My favorite color is kelly green, and the Hubs is quite possibly the biggest Oregon Duck fan.  What a better way to capture both by paying a subtle homage to the color schemes.  Right off the bat, here is where Martha Stewart stepped in — we had our color direction: Perfect Wedding Color Palette – Green and White.

We also had our perfect venue – The Pearl Street Grill and Breweryin Buffalo, NY, my hometown.  Our goal was to minimize travel for our guests – the majority of who came from out of town.  What a better way then to open the bar early, get hitched and party in one spot.

Here are some details from our special and unique day.

Thanks to Kate everyone knew I was the Soon-to-Be Mrs. Jolly.

Here’s a sneak peek of my dress.  I had no expectation of what I was going to wear – it could have been a ball gown or maybe 50s-style and short…then I found this Mori Lee gown online.  I looked at it every day for weeks until my Mom and I came upon it at a bridal shop here in San Jose.  I was the first person to try the sample on, and it was love at first sight.  After trying on a dozen, I knew it was the one when my Mom burst out in tears when I turned the corner – BINGO!  Proceeds from the purchase of the dress when to Breast Cancer Awareness – it was a beautiful way for me to do something special for my Grandma and Aunt who couldn’t join us for our big day.

Flowers were one of those details that if we had an unlimited budget I would have loved to go nuts on, but reality set in and I took a different approach.  I had a very small budget, but what helped was that I didn’t want any typical wedding flowers – translation: savings.  I had our florist do her thing without too much input from me – am I glad I did.  She added little stones to the fuji mums for something a little special.  My Auntie gave me a lucky bouquet angel for the Big Day.

Here is an idea that I swiped from a blog, but unfortunately I can’t find the link to send you to their site!  This was our ring “pillow” or book in this case.  We didn’t have a ring bearer, but wanted something neat for our rings for the Best Man to carry – plus it was a nod to my love of books (it pained me to destroy it!).  One thing we overlooked was that we bought this book in the clearance section of Barnes and Noble and grabbed it because of the title: The Geography of Bliss… Eric WEINER – *giggle*

I would also like to to say when I say We I mean it — it’s not the Royal We, but rather the Hubs and I made almost all of the decisions together.  He was truly involved with coming up with ideas or shooting down mine that got a little wackadoodle.

Our wedding present from Pedro and Marisol was an amazing poster of US!  It is just the neatest thing – like a concert poster for our wedding.  They were nice enough to let us use it on our programs. It’s such a cool touch with the venue on the right and a picture of us from our engagement photo session.  A-MAZING!

I have to say I completely underestimated the sheer size of our venue.  The Martha Stewart tissue pom-poms we picked up from Michaels.  Here’s a tutorial if you would like to make them yourself — I bought the packages from the store, but we still had to put them together.  The Hubs and I chose to have a sweetheart table since we knew we wouldn’t sit there for long.  I originally thought the pom-poms would go over the dance floor, but they were scaled wrong.  Same with the candle lampposts in the back.  I thought they would work to frame our “altar” where we had our ceremony, but were dwarfed by the Hubs and my giant of a brother.

After viewing a million blogs with sensational tablescape ideas, I knew we could do something fun, but reasonable.  By reasonable I did not just factor in cost, but also time.  Would it be worth it to put in a number of man hours for something that would be tossed out afterward?  We took the idea from the Martha Stewart color palette and lined the tables with ribbon along the length of each one – different colors, patterns and widths.  My Mom and Dad tag-teamed the table numbers.  My Mom used her Cricut machine to make the numbers on different patterned paper, and Dad cut wine corks for the stand.  The centerpieces came from Pearl Street.  Natalie, the catering director, had a few options to choose from — we opted for an upside-down wine glass with a candle placed on the base, then a hurricane lamp on top.  Unusual, but simple — a very nice touch.

Here’s how our guests arrived — hoofing it up to the fourth floor.

This is how we welcomed them — with a customized floor decal. Visions in Vinyl on Etsy came up with this great idea.  We wanted one for the dance floor, but again didn’t factor in the giant size of the room.  Natalie decided to play it at the top of the stairs.  Heather from Visions in Vinyl designed this after I shared our wedding site with her — Nate proposed using a Scrabble board – she simply took the idea and ran with it.  The results were fantastic!

Our cake was made by a family friend, and it was beyond my expectations.  I wanted something simple, but again different.  I asked Christine if we could find a vintage stand — I have a beautiful green plate from one of my Aunties.  I thought maybe we could do a number of cakes on different plates, but then she found this online.  Not only did she work hard to find what I envisioned, but also made about a million daisies for it.

Here’s the magic she worked on the Hubs’ groom’s cake.  Like I said he’s the biggest Duck fan — he bought those cake toppers the day after we were engaged.

My favorite part about our wedding – other than marrying the love of my life of course – was that everyone got to be themselves.  My nephew changed into his Chucks after the ceremony — just perfect!  Our day wasn’t fussy or proper, but rather simply fun – a true celebration.

Thank you to everyone who celebrated our wonderful wedding with us in person and in spirit!  Wow I still cannot believe 370 days have passed…

Thanks for taking this walk down memory lane with me.



Our photographer was Erica Eichelkraut, the owner of City Lights Studio — she’s outstanding!


Dress Shop – Trudy’s – San Jose, CA

Florist – Petals to Please – Lancaster, NY

Venue and Catering – Pearl Street Grill and Brewery – Buffalo, NY

Hair and Make-Up – Advanced Body Care – Depew, NY

Photography – City Lights Studio – Buffalo, NY

Play Dress Up: Vegas Getaway

3 Jun

On Sunday the Hubs and I celebrate ONE YEAR of Blissful Marriage!  To celebrate we’re off to Vegas for the weekend.  Unfortunately there are no plans to renew our vows with Elvis – maybe in 24 more years.

Las Vegas means a number of different things to people.  For me I love the glitz and glamour of what it was – the nostalgia of an era before my time.

Our plan is to dabble a little in some gambling, lay by the pool, enjoy some people watching, dine fabulously and catch a show.  I’m not one to get all decked out in club gear, but I’d like to find a few items that are special with a little added spice.

Perfect for our anniversary dinner at Craftsteak – close enough to ivory like my wedding dress.

Your Breezy Charms Dress – Modcloth

Let’s see a show with this light and flirty number.

Hy & Dot Open Back Dress – South Moon Under

I have an adorable white eyelet tank that would go perfectly with these cutesy shorts.

Judith March Pique Bird Shorts – South Moon Under

Let’s talk pool and cocktails – can you picture this with a straw floppy hat?  I love the high-waisted bottoms.

Retro Dot – J. Crew

I’m intrigued by the romper – it looks so comfy and chic.

Pin-up Romper – J. Crew

It gets chilly in those casinos, so sleeves are necessary.

Saint James Meridien II Tee – Madewell

Crafty: Crochet Hopes

2 Jun

I have mastered (I should use that term loosely) the chain stitch in crochet.  I’m still working on the single crochet, let’s not even think about double crochet or any other fancy crochet work.

I know what I want to make despite the fact I haven’t even tried making a washcloth.  My Momma recommended checking out some simple patterns to just get going.  Momma knows some of the stitches, but hasn’t crocheted regularly in years.  When I was in Buffalo we picked up The Easy Learn to Crochet in Just One Day.  The instructions are clear to understand and pick up quickly.  It’s helpful for me to see how something is done because I tend to over-analyze directions.  YouTube has a great variety of videos demonstrating the basic crochet stitches.

Another site Momma recommended was Lion Brand Yarns for the patterns but NOT the yarn.  Momma and her friends belong to a prayer shawl ministry that donates shawls that are blessed for church parishioners that are ill or suffering.  Unfortunately when they used Lion Brand yarn, the shawls fell apart in the wash.

Here are some items that are inspirational to work toward.  The Hubs would tell me to get off the computer and get crackin’!

Luna Lovegood Scarf from em ay kay ee

Crocheted Lion from Thompson Family-Life

Hoppy Baby Frog by Jaime in the Sky

Stroller Blanket by Doddlebug Crochet

Owl Mary Jane Slipper Pattern by Angels Chest

Bit of Happiness by Bits of Blossoms

Layered Necklace by Keeping It Chic

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