Category Archives: DIY

Wedding Recap: OOT Bags

So I think I alluded to it here, but the week before the wedding was absolutely insane.  I thought that I would have all of this time, but I seriously didn’t even have time to eat.

Monday: final meeting with reception venue (Paul Brown Stadium), visit with my brothers and 4 week old nephew, shopping with my mom, and dinner with my maid of honor, Kathleen, who was also hosting me for the week.

Tuesday: removal of excess hair, 1.5 hours with my stepmom’s brother (an Allstate agent) regarding insurance for the wedding, visiting my dad at school, hair trial with my mom (who was battling a stomach issue and went home), KROGER (!) shopping trip, wrote my personal evaluation for work, made 4 batches of chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, Kathleen and I put together the wedding programs

Wednesday: redid the seating chart, made another batch of cookies, put together the out-of-town (OOT) bags with my mom, FINALLY MADE IT TO THE GYM, saw Bridesmaids with Sarah,  Beckey, and Kathleen.  MATT CAME TO TOWN!!

Thursday: got Matt’s tux, picked up our Marriage License, went to the Reds game (they lost!), picked up Matt’s college roommate (Matt) from the airport, put together our table numbers and table cards along with Matt’s sisters, all while having a BBQ with Kathleen, Mellissa, Matt, Matt, Diana, and Amber

Friday: final marriage counseling session, picked up wrapping things for the wedding party presents, packed the car and moved into the hotel, wrapped presents, manicures with Matron of Honor, Amy, and finally REHEARSAL!

AHHH!  If you read that, good for you!  Seriously it was absolutely insane!! I think that I lost a good 4 pounds that week, since I basically just didn’t eat.  I’d get to dinner time and realize the only that I’d eaten was a banana and two cookies.

So now for what you REALLY care about:  THE OOT BAGS!

The out-of-town goodie bags are new thing.  They are given to your friends and family when they check into your hotel as a WELCOME! goody bag.

For the boxes, I used the 9x6x6 white gable boxes from Box and Wrap.  Inside the boxes were some combination of the following:

  • Grippos potato chips
  • Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Granola bar
  • Hershey’s miniatures and Reese’s cups (blue and pink from the Easter collection!)
  • Cincinnati Brochures
  • A welcome brochure
  • Mini bottles of water


Our brochure included the schedule for the weekend, directions to the church from the hotel, directions to the reception, parking information, suggestions of things to do in Cincinnati, and some great restaurant recommendations.  I created the trifold brochure using Publisher.



The water bottles had these cute labels that I made using a few inspirations that I found online.

waterbottlelabel copy

I printed them onto 8 x 2 Rectangle ULTRA Water-Resistant White Vinyl Inkjet Label Sheet purchased from and put onto 8 oz waterbottles.

It took my mom and I a good two hours to put these OOT boxes together.  I can’t remember any more how many there were, but I think it was about 60.



We used ribbon and circle labels with the A+M circle shown above printed on them.  (YAY VISTAPRINT!).  After the first set refused to stay together very well, we also used some leftover gluestrips to make a better bond.

After we finished, we called the front desk of the Hilton Netherland (this was all done in my mom’s room at the Netherland, why transport them already assembled?), and they sent up a bell hop to take them down to the front desk for distribution.  I hope that our guests enjoyed them!  I sure enjoyed a cookie or two the morning of the wedding.

What Have I Been Up To?

I’m getting married tomorrow!  SAY WHAT!?!

Here’s what I’ve been up to for the past two weeks (or more):

I made these pins using Martha Stewart’s directions.

I attempted to whiten my teeth.

Can you tell?

My mom and I assigned seats for the guests using plates and post-its (which we then re-did earlier this week after learning that our set up wouldn’t work!):

Matt packed up the dog for her 11 day stay at day care.

I packed up my car (did I mention that I bought a new car!?!) and drove 14 hours from Boston to Cincinnati.

Then I’ve been much busier than I anticipated this past week!  I would like to add some more posts for next week, but we shall see.


(P.S.  The weather is looking better.)

The Honour of Your Presence

is requested at the reveal of the INVITES!!  Now that most of them should be delivered (aside from the two going to Europe that just went out Saturday, did I mention that we have TWO people coming from Europe!?!)

Holy cow, did these things take FOR-EVER!  So I bought pocketfolds at Cards and Pockets back in June during their sidewalk sale.  I then started to design them using photoshop.  I used glue dots, lots and lots of glue dots to put together the invitation, mat, and pocket fold.  The aftermath of my gluing:


Finally after confirming dates, times, proofreading, etc.  I sent my pieces to be printed by Cards and Pockets.  I could have saved money by printing them myself, but with 175 to print and cut in the correct sizes, I decided to outsource.  Bonnie at the print shop of C&P was great to work with!  I’d highly recommend it to anyone!

After stuffing them two weeks ago, my mom and I finally put the finishing touches on them and stuffed the envelopes last weekend.


Matt joined in to help me to double check the addresses, stamp them, and lick the envelopes.


I just hope he isn’t poisoned from the glue and dies! (Seinfeld?  Anyone?  Anyone?)

We then made our way down to the mailbox Sunday night!


So do you want to see what they look like?

We have a “Sparkling Sapphire” pocket fold, with a metallic fuschia mat, and all of the white is metallic crystal.  I designed them all using Photoshop.  I got the little swirl from weddingclipart (I think).  You get two free downloads.  The script is Champignon and the print is Centabel Book (both from dafont).

There are five inserts (although you can only see four):

Reception card

Response Card

Accommodations (with Additional Information on the other side)

Directions to Ceremony

Directions to Reception (with the parking pass on the other side)


I’m pretty proud of my maps!  Dude, they were so hard to make in photoshop.  I have become a bit of a photoshop pro.

The close the pocketfolder, I used a blue ribbon and a metallic fuschia piece of card stock to write the names of those invited.


I had wanted to tie the ribbon, but we had some thickness issues.  The post office requires a maximum thickness of 1/4” for letters.  I measured the thickness at work using calipers, and it just barely made it.  So I squished them all with books before they went into the mailbox!

Since they fit the USPS requirements, the invitations only cost $0.61 to mail!  (Since they were just under 2oz).  WOO HOO!

Final cost of the invites: ~$5.50 each not including postage and the 30 hours of my time (and at my usual billing rate, that’s about $3,000).  We sent out 163 invitations, and actually ran out of envelopes.  So NO MORE!  As my mom said “These are the wedding guests.  There are no more.”

Other miscellaneous things (that I can’t show):  we used a blue envelope for the RSVP.  We then purchased a stamp and stamped the return address with white ink.  The return address on the back flap of the invite envelope was embossed.  Both the embosser and the stamp were purchased from acorn.  I used a white paint pen to address the envelopes.  The envelope paper isn’t very  porous, so the addresses streaked a bit through the USPS mail machine.  But whatever!  THEY’RE GONE!  And we received our first RSVP’s today!



Yup, I have 100 more days left as “Anne H”, then I’ll be “Anne T” (after some legal stuff).  I can’t begin to tell you how many things need to be done, decided, and debited (from my checking account) over the next 100 days.  I may or may not be freaking out:

Last night I had a real, bona fide wedding dream.  It started out as my bridal shower, where I realized that we had forgotten to go to our premarital counseling session that morning.  I  was worried that the pastor wouldn’t marry us after standing him up.  Then suddenly it was the wedding, and I didn’t have my hair done.  Then the makeup people didn’t show up.  I was so worried that I looked like crap.  AHHH!!

One fun thing about the impending doom wedding is the number of packages that I am now receiving almost daily.  Yesterday I received my package with a bunch more glue for the invitations.

And today we received a shower present:

(salt and pepper shakers).

I also received a bridal shower dress.  Remember the one that I was coveting?  Yeah, I found it on ebay for $50 less than retail.  And it fits GREAT!  (you’ll see it in two weeks at my bridal shower).

On a different note, I had my training session last night, and I’m very sore.  We did this bent over single cable reverse fly that totally worked my shoulders.

I felt like I was starting a lawn mower!  She commented that it’ll make my back look great in my dress.  Now I just have to go back to the gym more than twice per week.

Lame Excuse for Not Exercising

Want to hear the lamest excuse for not exercising?  It starts with snow.  I’d really like to go in the morning . . . except . . . So you may have heard that Boston has received A LOT of snow.  Like 70+ inches this year.  For a while, we were getting about 12″ per week.  We were running out of places to put it.  Our front yard pile was taller than Matt (and he’s 6′-3″).  The snow has also narrowed the streets.  Our street is so narrow that only one car can go down it at a time.  There is currently a 24 hr/day on street parking ban for secondary streets in our town.  What does this mean for me and the gym?  Well our drive way is one car wide, meaning that we park tandem.  Usually Matt’s car is blocking my car, since he leaves before me in the morning.  If I wanted to leave before him, I’d have to move is car to get to mine.  Now this isn’t ideal, but wasn’t a problem until the parking ban.  If I want to leave, I have to move his car, move my car, and then move his back.  It’d take me 10 minutes just to leave the house!  I actually felt trapped in the other day, when I wanted to run and errand, and his car was blocking me. STIR CRAZY! Here’s hoping that the 8 days of 35+ degree weather starting this weekend will melt the snow and take away my lame excuse.

What is your lamest excuse to not exercise?

Invitation Station

We’re planning on sending out the invitations in a month, and since there are 160 of them, I’m trying to put them together little by little.  For the return address on the invitation envelope, my mom ordered an embosser from Acorn.  She also ordered a rubber stamp to put the address on the RSVP envelope.

The embosser was a bit difficult (I could only do about 5 at a time before my hand would hurt), so Matt got in on the action.

Then I started doing the stamps on the RSVP envelopes.  It was actually kind of difficult to get it centered and not smudge it.  Plus, I had to let a set of them dry before moving on to the next.


Do you like the glass of wine next to the invitations?  Doesn’t it remind you of the Friends episode?  “The one with the videotape” where Rachel and Ross “you know” . . .

*dang I can’t find a video*

Anyway, it does remind me of this time that I was backpacking through Europe . . .

DIY Card Box

(note: I updated my Wedding Page AKA Finally a Bride!! page to be more organized.  Enjoy!)

Remember my current web obsessions?  I was really coveting this card box from etsy seller LaceyClaireDesigns.

I decided to tackle it myself.  So I ran out to Joann’s and Michael’s last night to pick up supplies:

  • 1 yard of fuschia silk shantung
  • 2 yards of wired 1.5″ wide white satin ribbon
  • 12″ diameter x 9″ tall hat box
  • Fabric glue
  • A piece of bling

First cut the hole in the lid.  I measured the hat box to find the center of it, and then used a greeting card to figure out the length of the opening.  Then I eyeballed the width of it.  I think it’s about 0.5″.  I used my utility knife to cut the opening.

Then cover the top of the lid and the bottom of the bottom. I cut a square that was about 13″ x 13″ for each, and then trimmed it so that the overhang was only about 0.5″.  I glued it to the circle and then glued the edges to the cylinder.

Then I made the strip to go around the “cylinders”.  The width of the strip should be about 2″ wider than the height of the cylinder. (9″ + 2″ = 11″ for the bottom and 3″  + 2″ = 5″ for the lid)  Now, math question:  what should the length of the strip be?  Circumference = pi*diameter.  So (12″)*3.14 = approximately 38″.  Add an inch or two for the overlap.  To make a nice crease for the edge, I busted out the iron.

Then wrap the strip around the cylinder, and glue the edge of the fabric to the edge of the cylinder.

And glue the top edges to the inside of the cylinder.

Repeat for the top.

Now time for the cutting the card slit.  I just cut down the middle of the fabric in the hole, with two triangles at the ends.

Glue the fabric slit to the inside of the top.

Put the two pieces together.  Tie the ribbon around.  Add the bling.  And TA DA!

There’s some glue spots that I hope dry a little bit nicer.

Total cost = $35 (and 2.5 hours of my time)

  • Silk – $10
  • Ribbon – $4
  • Bling – $3
  • Hat Box – $13
  • Glue – $5

The one on etsy is $57.  So I guess that’d be a savings of $22!!  WOO HOO!  And I actually bought two yards of the silk shantung (for $10/yard), but didn’t use it all.  Now I can use it for the ring bearer pillows!

What do you think?  What do you plan on DIYing?

Blinging Out the Flip Flops

First let’s start with the tasty, fall meal that I made tonight.  Pork chops were on sale, and so I went to one of my favorite websites, Heather’s Recipes (great resource for recipes using mostly “whole foods”), and the very first pork recipe was this great pork chop recipe using apples and sweet potatoes (two things that I already had).  Unfortunately, when I was making the pork chops, I realized that my sweet potatoes had gone bad.  Oops . . .

So “Apple Crusted Pork with sans Sweet Potatoes”:

Pork covered in a sauce of applesauce, dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, and cumin.  I also sprinkled some cinnamon on some of the apples.  While I don’t like cinnamon, I love the aroma that filled the house!


My Plate


I added some spinach for some greenery!  The pork was really flavorful.  Deliciouso!

Wedding Crafts Project

First of all, if you are one my bridesmaids and do NOT want to see what part of your gift will be, don’t scroll down.

Secondly, have I mentioned my love of craft projects?  Background for this project: we are going to be taking pictures on the football field at Paul Brown Stadium before the reception, however we are NOT allowed to wear heels.  I thought I would be a great idea to give my girls some fun, bright, sparkly flip flops!

What you will need:




  1. Flip flops (I got mine from Old Navy when they were on clearance)
  2. Matching ribbon (I used 1″ wide satin ribbon)
  3. Glue gun
  4. Fabric glue
  5. Bling! (I used 7mm hot pink rhinestones)

First, wrap the thong part of the flip flop in ribbon.  I used a 28″ continuous piece of ribbon, started at one side (affixing with hot glue), wrapped around the thong (including the toe wedgie thing), and hot glued it the other side.

Next affix the bling using fabric glue.  If you use hot glue, they will come off.  I also used tweezers to help put them on.

Let dry.

The finished product:

I’m so excited about them!  I know they’ll look great with the cobalt dresses.


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