Christina and Dan Request the Honor of Your Presence

You had a sneak peak at our wedding stationery style last week when I showed you our guest book. Here’s the actual invitation:
 

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The invitation is the first wedding-related item that your guests will see if you don’t send save the date cards (which we didn’t). It sets the tone for your big day. The invitation needs to match the mood you want at your wedding. If your wedding is super fancy, you shouldn’t be using an ink pad and stamp to be making your invitations.

Dan and I wanted a playful, fun wedding. My instinct first shot me towards looking up invitation on Wedding Paper Divas, but then Dan had the truly wonderful idea of designing the invitations ourselves. Could we do such a thing?

Dan is a senior copywriter at an ad agency, so he has quite a knack with words. He would need a helper though, an art director. One of Dan’s co-worker’s, Lauren, stepped up to the challenge and what they came up with far exceeded any expectation I had for an invitation.

Let’s start at the beginning. First thing is deciding your wedding colors. I always knew black and hot pink would be featured on my big day. I found it to be an elegant, but modern combination. We threw in lime green for an extra pop of color.

We hightailed it over to Paper Source to see what we could find in the colors we liked. We ended up going with the Open End Envelope in fuchsia for the outer envelope and the 4 Bar Envelope in black for the response card. For the invitation itself, we used Luxe Fino Paper in cream. We took full advantage of the bulk order discount too. It saved us a few pennies.

Dan and Lauren designed every piece of the invitation themselves. Along with the actual invitation, we also sent the response card,

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and my favorite piece – the timeline/reception card/map all in one.
 

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I just love the map key that shows where the church, reception hall, and hotel are. Those icons are adorable!

Speaking of icons, Dan and I had a sort of logo that we used in many elements of the wedding. It was this:
 

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Can you see what it is? Yep, the ampersand symbol is actually an interlocking pink “c” and a white “d” – our initials. Clever, huh? That came about thanks to Dan and Lauren. What a great design! We printed the symbol on label paper and stuck one on the back of each invitation to close it, which worked kind of like a  modern day seal.

When all was said and done, we spent about $400 on our invitations. Compared to the $900+ it would cost to get custom invitations designed and printed, I was very happy for our savings.

Now if only I could come up with a way to cut the time it takes to stuff the envelopes and get the invitations out. That would be a real accomplish.

Actually Using Your Engagement Photos

The engagement photo session. Many photographers are offering this service that was virtually unheard of a few years ago. I loved the concept. Sure, I have plenty of photos of Dan and I from various events, but I wouldn’t exactly call them good shots. Case in point:

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Yep, the typical, “We’re in a bar. Let’s take a picture!”

We wanted some better shots of us.

Dan’s friend/co-worker, Natalia, and her husband, Tony, are extremely talented photographers. We were lucky that they both agreed to follow us around on a Saturday morning and take some engagement shots for us. You already had a small preview from my wedding scrapbook post.

I’ll spare you the details about where we went to take the photos, where I got my wardrobe, and how early in the morning we started (ok, 7am). Instead, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
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Dan and I were beyond pleased with how the photos came out. I felt Christmas morning-type glee as I scrolled through the photos when we got them. They were gorgeous shots. But how could I display more than just a few of them without our home looking as obnoxious as the photo spread of Mark and Vanessa in Juno?

Using his creative mind, Dan came up with an awesome idea. Why not use the engagement photos to create a guest book? Genius!

I sparked to the idea, because a plain book with lines was just not going to cut it for me, and I had already looked far and wide for a guest book alternative, but nothing was striking my fancy. I first turned to etsy, one of my favorite places to find unique homemade crafts.

I saw this thumbprint tree from Love from the Thumb. I liked that you could actually hang this and see it everyday.
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I thought something like this note card guest book set from Cut the Cake Designs would be fun too.
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But a guest book made from the perfect engagement photos with space for guests to sign sounded great.

Dan started by researching some photo book companies online. He liked Blurb the best. We sifted through all the wonderful shots and came up with our favorites. Then, Dan designed each page. He discovered that the simple and easy way to make a beautiful photo book is to just pull every photo to the edges of the page (they call that full bleed). Then he added lines for the guests to write their names and any messages they wanted.
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It was a bit time consuming, but the guest book turned out great.

We borrowed the font and some design elements from our invitations, so everything matched perfectly.
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We received many complements from guests, saying they had never before seen a guest book quite like ours. And they enjoyed looking at the engagement photos they otherwise would have never seen.

We also used the guest book as an opportunity to try out Blurb’s custom books. We liked Blurb so much that we even used it to make our wedding album. It is a gorgeous coffee table book, and it saved us quite a pretty penny compared to buying an album from our professional photographer.

I’m so glad we got to showcase the engagement photos in a fun and unexpected way. How did you use yours?

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Pomander Power

I got married in the same church where I was baptized and at the same parish where I went to grade school. It’s what you think of when you think of traditional Roman Catholic churches.
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When I started thinking about how to decorate such a large space, my priest gave me some advice. He told me that he’s seen it all – weddings with a ton of flowers and decorations, and weddings that had nothing. In such a big space, no matter what you do, there won’t be enough to make a huge difference. He is a wise man.

He was totally right. The wedding party (especially the bridesmaids) add a ton of color to the altar. No matter how many floral arrangements I could have put up there with us, they wouldn’t have been noticed. I’m glad we politely said no thank you to the florist when they asked if we needed altar decoration arrangements.

However, I knew the aisle needed something. At 84 feet long, and with everyone looking down it, leaving the aisle undecorated was not an option. I knew flowers would be expensive, so I tried to figure something else out that would be economical, that would fit in with our flowers/theme, and would be pretty. That’s when I turned to pomanders.

Originally, I tried to make them out of tissue paper. I took 3″ styrofoam balls, made tissue paper flowers, then used floral wire to attach the flower to the styrofoam. I made many flowers. It took a long time. In order to make the pomander hang from the pew, I attached a thick black ribbon. Here’s what I got as an end result.
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I didn’t love it. It looked blah and very homemade. So I kept searching. I came upon this wedding blog post, and my eyes lit up. These were perfect! Pink daisies were already going to be in the bouquets, and I loved the clean and uniform look of the daisy punches. They seemed so easy to make too. I think I found my pew decorations.

After a few trips to JoAnn Fabric for the seam binding and some hot pink scrapbook paper, three wonderful friends of mine and I got to work. Becky, Claire, and Mary each began wrapping styrofoam balls with seam binding while I began punching out what felt like thousands of hot pink little daisies. Once we had a few of the balls ready to go, I switched jobs and started pinning the flowers onto the now black styrofoam balls. We modified the pomanders from the blog post by adding a sequin to each flower. Just put the sequin on the pin first, then push the pin, sequin, and flower into the styrofoam. I love that extra little bit of shine.
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Hours later, we completed all 12 of the pomanders. The only thing left to do was to find a way to secure the pomander to each pew. At this point, it was 11pm and we were all tired. The solution would have to wait for another day. One of my bridesmaids, Becky, was my savior and volunteered to take all 12 pomanders home and solve the problem for me.
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Yeah, Becky rocks.

I saw the finished product at the rehearsal. What an ingenious idea! She used over the door hooks! She cut each hook down and used the top part of it as the hanger for over the pew. She covered each hook with black ribbon and for added cute-ness, she bought black ribbon with sparkly dots to make bows. She’s quite the crafter.
 

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On the wedding day, they were hung on the pews with care by the groomsmen. 
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Every other pew, Scott. 

They looked fabulous.
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Looking at photos later, I was beyond pleased with the results. Don’t tell anyone, but on wedding day, I didn’t even notice them. While walking down the aisle, I was looking at all my family and friends, and of course, at Dan, so I didn’t notice them as I passed them. But, they definitely added some pizazz to the long and boring aisle. And other people noticed.
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This was actually one of the wedding crafts I enjoyed making the most, probably because I made them with friends. Do you think I can make a living as a pomander maker? Maybe if I supplement my income by becoming a wedding planner too. Oh, and a cupcake shop baker. Dare to dream.

Mini Memory Books and Bridesmaid Dress Cookies

To kick off my wedding posts, I’m sharing with you how I made the small tokens of appreciation I gave those wonderful girls I called my bridesmaids before our first big dress shopping trip.

Bridesmaids do a lot for their brides. They should be thanked. I was lucky enough to have 6 fantastic bridesmaids with me on my big day. I’m even luckier to have them in my life.
 

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They are all busy women. Two have small children. All have some form of a higher educational degree. Even though growing up, none of them lived more than 10 minutes from me, getting together now can be a challenge. So when I arranged a date for us to go bridesmaid dress hunting, I was thrilled that 4 bridesmaids could be there.

This outing would be the first wedding-related event that my bridesmaids and I would be doing together, so I thought a small gesture to thank them for all they were doing for me was in order. I decided making them a mini memory book and dress-shaped cookies was the way to go.
 

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Here’s how I made the books.

I started with 3 pieces of double-sided scrapbook paper. I cut each piece into 3 even strips, each strip being 4″ tall and 12″ long. Using clear tape, I taped two paper strips together, making one long strip that is 2 feet long. I did that 4 times. you should have one 4″ strip left over.

I folded each long strip of paper into 6 even folds, which is a fold every 4 inches. Your strip should now look like an accordian.

Now came the fun part. I searched my archives for the funniest and oldest photos I had of me and each of my bridesmaids. Considering I’ve been friends with these girls since we were young’ns, I had quite a few good ones.

I started with the oldest photos and worked my way to the present day. For added contrast, I had the pictures printed in black and white. I used 5 photos for each mini book, and on the last open panel, I wrote each bridesmaid a small note of thanks.
 

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To keep the books together, I bought the thinnest ribbon I could find in hot pink, since I  knew the dress we were searching for would be that color. Using a hole punch, punch two holes close together on the front cover of the book. Loop the ribbon in the holes, then wrap the ribbon around the books 3 times. Cut the ribbon and tie a bow. I printed out each name and added it to the front of the mini book as the final touch.
 

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Now on to the edible part – the cookies! Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe (or ready to make sugar cookie dough if you’re in a time crunch) and roll out the dough. Take a cookie cutter and cut out a dress-shaped piece of dough. I used this dress cookie cutter. Bake them according to the directions. When they’re done, take them out of the oven and let the cookies cool completely.

Once the cookies are cooled, you can frost them. I preferred to use frosting that hardened, so I could stack the cookies when I wrapped them. Here’s the recipe I used to make the icing:

1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Mix the powdered sugar and vanilla together until thoroughly combined. Next, add corn syrup and the vanilla until the mixture is smooth. Add in the gel food coloring until you get the color you want. Ice the cookies quickly, as this frosting is made to harden. Quickly sprinkle, if desired. Leave the cookies alone until the icing hardens. Once the icing is dry, the cookies can be stacked.
 

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Note: Do not make this frosting until the cookies are ready to be iced. If you make it too early, the icing with harden and will become unspreadable.

I gave the bridesmaids the books and cookies after we got back from dress shopping, but before we headed out for a night on the town together.

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Thank you, ladies!

Wedding Scrapbook Fail

I can’t believe it. My anniversary is coming up quickly. It’ll be one year since I became a Mrs.

Time flies when you’re having fun!

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To mark such a momentous occasion, I’m taking a small break from home decorating and baking/cooking posts. Instead, I’ll be recapping some of the crafty DIY wedding details in the two weeks leading up to our anniversary, June 5.

As you probably could have guessed, I was very much into cutting costs where I could for the wedding. The average wedding costs something like $30,000 these days, so I was looking to save where possible. I was also a DIY bride, which not only helped keep costs down, but really helped fill the wedding with personal touches. As one guest later told me, you could see Dan and I in every little detail. Just as we had hoped!

In the next couple weeks, you’ll see all those little details we created for our wedding.

Post-wedding has been a bit of a different story. There’s one item I still haven’t gotten around to doing, almost a whole year later. The wedding scrapbook.

The scrapbook wouldn’t be of the wedding itself. No, we paid for a professional photographer and for a professional (looking) album. That’s enough for me.

No, I was going to scrapbook the wedding-related events up to the big day. You know: engagement, showers, bachelorette party, dress fittings, etc.

Ever since a few Christmases ago, when my mother-in-law gave me a ton of scrapbook supplies and introduced me to the concept of scrapbooking, I’ve really enjoyed making scrapbook pages. It’s a great way to remember a special event, and it seems more meaningful that just shoving all your photos into an album.

I’ve made some pretty good pages in the past, if I do say so myself.
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Here’s a Girl’s Day Luau I hosted.

 

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Here’s New Year’s Eve, celebrating with my friends and Dan.
 

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And here’s a family Easter.

 

Anyways, I planned the whole wedding scrapbook out. As a birthday gift, my mom got me some of the supplies I would need.

I looked through the photos I had from each event and printed my favorites. I even went so far as to separate the photos and put them each in envelopes I had labeled with the event description.

But then the supplies and envelopes kind of just sat there. At first, I told myself I was busy wedding planning, and I would get to scrapbooking after the big day. Then, I moved. Then it was summer time, and I wanted to enjoy the warm weather while I could. Before I knew it, Christmas was nearing. Then we got the dog. And I kept making excuse after excuse every time I thought about how I meant to make the scrapbook.

In my defense, I did get a few pages done.

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I scrapbooked our engagement night.  
 

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And the night I asked 6 of my closest friends to be my bridesmaids.
 

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And I made a spread from some of our engagement photos.

My goal had been to finish the scrapbook by our one year anniversary. That is clearly not happening. My new goal is to finish it by the end of summer. Check back to see how I do.

For now, be on the look out for my wedding recap posts starting Monday.

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers and Fries

With summer right around the corner, I’ve been looking for new grill recipes. Call it wishful thinking, but I’m hoping it soon gets too warm to cook indoors. But last night, the grilling was out of preference, not neccessity. We made portobello burgers with a side of fries.
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Making the mushrooms is really easy, which is another bonus of grilling. Hardly any prep time. I did a slight modification of this recipe from Mayo Clinic. Who would have thought this recipe is actually good for you?

Here’s what you’ll need:
4 bun-sized portobello mushrooms
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil

I started by cleaning off the mushroom caps and taking out the stems.
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Mix the rest of the ingredients together.
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Put the portobellos gill side up in a shallow dish/pan and drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms.
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Put the mushrooms in the fridge for 30 minutes. Flip them, then let them marinade for 30 minutes more.

Next, fire up that grill! Put the mushrooms on the grill, and save the marinade in the pan. Drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms while they cook.
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You only need to keep them on the grill for about 8 minutes or so. Too long and the mushrooms will dry out.

Put the portobellos on buns, and top with your favorite toppings. We added cheddar cheese to ours, which definitely took the healthy factor down a notch. I think we still came out ahead though.

While the marinading and grilling is going on, start your fries.

For the two of us, I usually cut up three potatoes and end up with zero leftovers. Modify that as you want.

I cut them up into thick slices and leave on the skin. I get out a cookie sheet, line it with tin foil for easy clean up, and spray it with cooking spray. Put the potato slices on one of its sides, being careful not to stack them. Drizzle olive oil on them, just until each piece has some on it. Then, sprinkle salt, pepper, and rosemary over everything.
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Bake the fries in the oven at 400 for about 25 minutes. Be sure to flip the fries after 12-13 minutes, or else you will have a heck of a time getting them off the tin foil.

Take them out and serve immediately.

As there are only two of us eating this meal, we had two extra portobellos. Chop up the leftovers and throw it in a spinach salad with feta, cranberries, and pecans. A whole new meal for tomorrow’s lunch.

Sunday Night Homemade Pizza

Growing up, my dad always made pizza for us on Sunday night. It was tradition. The dough was made from scratch. The veggies he used were grown in his yard. The only item that came pre-made was the pizza sauce.

Yesterday, we made our own, with just a few modifications.

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First, we made whole wheat pizza dough. As we don’t have a go-to recipe for whole wheat dough (we only do for regular dough), we googled it and ended up with this recipe from allrecipes.com.

Once we mixed the ingredients together, we put the dough mixture into the mixer and kneaded it with the dough hook for about 10 minutes.

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Put the dough in an oil covered bowl and place it in a warm, non-drafty place for an hour so it can rise. We put it in the oven.

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Here’s how it looked after an hour.

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Roll the dough into a ball, and let it rise another 45 minutes. We weren’t ready to make the pizza yet, so after the 45 minutes, we wrapped the dough in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for a couple hours, until dinner time.

We rolled the dough out onto the pizza stone and sprinkled it with sugar.

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Next, add the pizza sauce. Then, we chopped up the veggies for toppings. Here’s the onion.

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We loaded the pizza. We ended up putting onion, yellow pepper, jalapeno, mushrooms, black olives, pepperoni, cheese, and pizza seasoning.

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We put it in the oven for 10 minutes, flipped it, then cooked it 10 minutes more.

Ooey, gooey, and incredibly cheesy.

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On a completely unrelated note, we finished the frame gallery in our office. Here it is in all its glory.

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U of I’s Quad, goldfish, a bird printed on a vintage Chicago map, a Marimekko print, and some random images we found and liked. An eclectic mix, huh?

 

Moving in Flashback: Dining Room

Given that this weekend is the weekend Dan moved into our apartment last year, with me moving in a few weeks later after the wedding, I thought I’d take a look back at the apartment since then and how it’s changed. I’ll start with the room that has come the farthest  – the dining room.
 

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When we viewed the apartment, I really loved its layout, the quiet street, the large kitchen pantry, and the huge kitchen with an island and built in wine rack. But the first question I asked before signing on the dotted line was, “Can we paint?”

You already heard about the baby jail bedroom we’d be using as an office. Those yellow stripes still give me nightmares.
 

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Well, the faded sea foam green dining room walls weren’t much better. Look how much the color faded.
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That must have been some high quality paint.

 

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Oh, and did you notice that light fixture? Circa 1970?

We started the room transformation by deciding on a tone for the room. I wanted something more on the formal side, since I love throwing a good dinner party, but definitely wanted to keep it from feeling like you couldn’t touch anything in there.

I also knew the room had to have functionality. For one, it needed to have a dining room table that could expand, but the table had to be small on a day to day basis. Also, I knew this room needed to offer some storage options, but I didn’t want it to look messy.

Back when I was doing this room, I had no idea what a mood board was, so none exist for the dining room. All I had was a feeling. I wanted the room to feel warm and inviting. The color choice? Bold red. For some, this can emit a firy, uneasy feeling, but the color is soothing to me.

After about a year, I did think the room needed some softening up. As you saw in a previous post, I added some delicate curtains and that really did the job.

On to the furniture. As you know, I turn to craigslist whenever I can. And why wouldn’t I? The furniture pieces aee usually well priced and still in excellent condition. The first piece we purchased for the dining room was the table. It’s the Madison Extension Dining Table from Crate & Barrel. It’s well made and extends to seat 8 people. We bought 4 of the Madison chairs with the table and then lucked out majorly when we were able to purchase 2 more from another seller on craigslist.
 

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With all the glassware we were given at our showers and for our wedding, I knew we’d need a place to store them. Our dining room has a cute little nook on one of the walls, and I was hoping to find a sidebar to put there. I found the Orion Chocolate Sideboard from Crate & Barrel on craigslist.
 

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That was a doozy of a drive out to Naperville, and we had to be super careful with the frosted glass doors, but I just loved it. The wood stain almost exacly matches the table. All our barware is neatly stored away in there, along with my table linens and other odds and ends in the middle drawers. The best part? That baby fit perfectly in the nook, without even a centimeter to spare!

The final piece of furniture in the room was a practical choice. Dan and I each amassed a ton of books, and they had nowhere to go. I liked the Sloane Leaning Bookcases from, you guessed it, Crate & Barrel.
 

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I searched on craigslist for these for a while, but in the end, I gave in and bought them directly from the store. It was a splurge, but the money blow was softened by gift cards we received for the wedding. Dan took organization a step further than I ever intended by arranging our books by color. No Dewey Decimal System for us.

Finally, there were the finishing touches. I added some old frames I already had, and that were conveniently red, to the sideboard.
 

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We bought a modern light fixture from Ikea, which my father-in-law was nice enough to install for us. Lucky bonus: the light fixture length is almost exactly the length of the table.
 

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We framed a poster of Chicago that Dan had in his previous apartments and hung it on the wall.
 

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My favorite part of the room has to be the big frame of wedding pictures hanging over the sideboard.
 

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My mom bought the frame on clearance years ago and found it while cleaning out the basement. She gave it to us, saying she’d never use it.

I wanted to hang some of my favorite photos from our wedding somewhere in the apartment, but I didn’t want it to become a display of all the standard wedding poses that every married couple has from their wedding day. So, Dan and I picked our favorite mostly action shot photos to put in the frame. Plus, I really like that the frame isn’t  distinctly noticeable. It’s not the first thing you see when you walk into the apartment, and even not the first thing you notice when you walk into the dining room. It’s subtle, which is exactly what I wanted.

Even though I think a room is never complete in the decoration process, as of now, I don’t have any plans to change this room. What do you think? Any ideas for improvement?

My First Bread Success

Baking bread scares me. I’ve tried to bake some on a couple occasions, and the result has never been good…until now.
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But before this, the healthy banana bread I made came out of the oven with burned crusts, but a gooey inside. I later learned I should have used a bundt pan instead of a loaf pan. The cinnamon bread I made didn’t rise at all! Seriously, it was a rolled up cinnamon log when it came out of the oven. Never figured out what went wrong there.

Imagine my delight when I decided to make zucchini bread, and this came out of the oven.
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Light, fluffy, the perfect consistency. Success!

I credit it all to my Auntie Valerie’s recipe, which she gave me as part of my wedding shower gift last year. I’ve been seeing recipe cards in many of the bridal shower invitations I’ve received lately. I think it’s a great way for the bride-to-be to stock up on recipes she knows will work, and to collect the recipes for the traditional family dishes she grew up loving. My maid of honor sent out recipe cards with my shower invitation, and I was so glad she did. Here’s the one for zucchini bread.
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My Auntie Valerie had a whole theme going with her shower gift: cake dome, cake server, and the zucchini bread recipe. Fancy! Here I am opening her gift.
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The recipe is really easy. Here’s what you need:

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2 cups raw grated zucchini
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon bakingpowder
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup nuts (optional)

Start by preheating the over to 350 degrees. Grease a bundt pan and set aside. Grate the zucchini.

Cream together the eggs, sugar, and oil. I used my stand mixer foe this step, which makes it a million times easier than using a hand mixer.
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Add in the salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix well.

Gradually add in the flour, one cup at a time, and mix. Finally, add the zucchini and the nuts. Mix gently just until all the ingredients are combined.

Pour batter into the bundt pan.
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Bake for one hour, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the pan, then invert the pan onto a plate. The bread should slide right out.

Here’s the finished product displayed in my cake dome.

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Perfection.

Be Sweet to your Mother

Yesterday, I had a great day with my mom.

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We started off the day at the Network of Strength Walk. Some local women truly outdid themselves this year. While the big walk in Chicago is  downtown, these ladies organize a walk every year through a local neighborhood. This year, the walk was held in Edison Park and started at St. Juliana’s. The whole 5K was mapped out for us andafterwards, there was a lovely party with music, lunch, desserts, and of course, gallon and gallons of ice cold water.

I was lucky to be able to spend Mother’s Day not just with my own mother, but with my new extended family as well. Here’s a group photo of the walkers I  was with – my husband, my mother, my in-laws, and Phoebe.

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Here’s Phoebe on the way home. She doesn’t look it, but she was pooped. And she’s rocking pink.

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All totaled, I raised $320 for the cause. Thank you so much to everyone who donated.

Afterwards, the whole clan headed back to my parents’ house for a tasty lunch my dad had prepared. You guessed right, I made dessert!

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This is a Nutella Swirl Pound Cake. My cousin, Rosemarie, makes this dish for many of our family gatherings and it’s always a hit. My mom really likes it, so I thought I’d take a stab at making it for Mother’s Day. This recipe was originally found by Rosemarie in Food & Wine magazine. It features a yummy ingredient: Nutella.

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Here’s what you need:  

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

4 large eggs, at room temperature 

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

3/4 teaspoon baking powder 

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 

1 1/4 cups sugar

One 13-ounce jar Nutella 

Set the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set it aside.

Whisk together the eggs and the vanilla

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In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
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In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
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Oh, and if you have a dog like Phoebe, let her lick the butter that got stuck to the wrapper. She’ll love it.

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With the mixer at medium-low speed, gradually beat in the egg mixture until fully incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until just incorporated. Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.

Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan.
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Spread half of the Nutella on top. Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella. Top with the remaining batter. Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife.
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Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Put the cake on a plate and serve. Yum.