Friday, July 30, 2010

A long time coming...

Hello blog world!  I've been MIA for the last week or so, in case you couldn't tell!  I finished summer session for grad school and I have a bit of a break before the fall semester starts.  This past week I spent time with my family & Parker - it was wonderful!  I've been busy sewing, unpacking boxes at the condo, cleaning out my room, and hanging out with my family.  This week I'm going to the beach with some of my best friends as Lauren's last hoorah before moving to Virginia!

Speaking of the beach, my family took our annual beach vacation a few weeks ago (without me).  Parker & I went down for the weekend to celebrate Weston's 12th birthday!  We took him and his friend fishing on the pier,,, here are some pictures:

I think this is the only time Parker got to fish.  It was so windy and the waves were ROUGH.  The boys kept getting their lines stuck or tangled, so Parker spent all of his time getting them unstuck and untangled.  It was worth it though, right babe?

The boys had so much fun! They were so excited...  Mom & Dad came over for a little while to see some action.  Look at Weston's grin!

Cole caught his first fish ever!  He caught it by the stomach - now that is talent!

I thought this picture was funny because that creeper in the red shirt is looking right at the camera!  Weird!

The happy fishermen!
laura ann

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Boutonniere ideas

Update:  The poll isn't working correctly again this week... If you want to vote, leave a comment!  Thanks! I'd love to hear your input!

Original Post:
Now that I've done the bouquets, I figured I should start thinking about the boutonnieres (that is the hardest word to spell).  I really have no clue what I want... but I know it should be manly - or as manly as boutonnieres can be. Haha!  I found a bunch of bout-o-nnier-es that I like... Which ones do you like?  Vote in this week's poll!

I guess they should kind of match the bouquets which have light blue hydrangeas, white hydrangea looking things, white hydrangeas, pale green snowball hydrangea things, white oriental lilies, blackberries, green berry things, and sticks... you can tell I'm really up on my flowers.  Just see for yourself...

On a different note, I found the best ties!  Look at these - they are perfect!

And on another different note, we found a cake baker/maker/decorator (what is the title?)  Her name is Allison and she has a catering business with my cousin Melissa.  She made Melissa's wedding cake and it was gorgeous, so I can't wait to decide on a cake!

Okay, that's all for now.  Don't forget to help me out on the bouton... boutinnier.... oh I'm not looking it up again... Don't forget to vote!   :)
laura ann

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Budget Spreadsheet

Hello hello!  I don't have anything super creative and fun to share this week on Wedding Wednesday, so I decided to share my budget template.  I know you are all bursting with excitement! But with the sudden onset of engagements that I've noticed on my facebook homepage (seriously, I've had 5 facebook friends get engaged this week, and even more are recently engaged or about to be engaged... 'tis the season evidently haha), I thought that sharing my budget template was be a nice idea.

Now I know that there are about a gazillion books and websites that give sample budgets... but if you look closely, you'll notice that they stink - at least the ones I found.  They forget important expenditures like postage and newspaper announcements and designate one row for ceremony costs.  Let's get real here - ceremonies have many costs like pastor fees, location fees, musician fees, decorations, and guestbooks to name a few... one row doesn't really lead to a detailed and effective budget.  The more detailed you are in a budget, the better you'll be able to stick to it.  That way, when you walk into Michaels to buy a cake topper (or whatever) you'll already know how much you have to spend on it.  If you go under budget, that is even better!  But you won't have to worry about going over if you budget wisely.

Because I couldn't find an adequate budget example, I created my own by compiling many budgets into one.  I also updated it when my bride friends complained about finding hidden costs.  Then, I created cushion money for both the reception and the ceremony - because we all know that there are always hidden fees.  The best part is, I can add new sections or delete unnecessary ones.  For example, Parker and I are not having alcohol at the reception, so that gets $0 on the budget.  We might have things that you won't have (i.e. a minister of music fee), so you can manipulate the budget to fit your needs.  Think of it as a starting point.  :)

I uploaded the template to Google Docs (I love Google Docs) and you can access it here.  It looks like this:

It's not so scary, see?  You can save it and use it by clicking File > Download as... Excel.  There is a section for low and high estimates in case you have a ranging budget (i.e. you want to spend between $10,000 and $15,000) - and a section for goals in case you have an exact budget.  There is also a place to put quotes from vendors (on the far right), before you make a decision.  I insert comments as we make payments, for example we made a $200 deposit on the reception location on January 16 (or something like that).  Record it so if there is ever any question, you can go back and see in one document when/how/if you made a payment.  I added a few comments to the sample like "include tip" for the pastor, or "remember alterations" for the dress, etc. just for you to keep in mind as you decide on a budget.  Anyways, I hope this helps you soon-to-be brides!

If you use the template, would you let me know?  Thanks!  Also,if you sweet married/almost married ladies have suggestions/additions let me know!  I am sure I forgot something!  :)

Here you go!

Happy budgeting!
laura ann

Friday, July 9, 2010

Not braggin' or anything...

...but I designed the cutest blogs ever for my friends Brittany and Lauren.  It makes me want to give my own blog a makeover!!  I used a few things from Fonts for Peas and Shabby Princess, and I think that both blogs turned out fabulous!  Go over and check them out!  Both ladies are new to blogging so they don't have many posts yet, but keep an eye on them because I'm sure they will be fantastic reads!  :)


I just told Lauren that these pictures make me very happy inside. :) THEY'RE SO CUTE!

laura ann

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Fourth of July - Better late than never

Each year, the Morgan family heads to the river to celebrate July 4th.  This year, the weather was perfect, the water was calm, and the fun never stopped.

We fished...

And caught fish...

And fished some more...

And caught some more fish (and some crabs and a jellyfish too!)

We swam around and jumped off the pier...

We floated around

and rode the jet skis.

Some of us almost drowned... (just kidding)...

and others floated around some more.

The guys wake boarded...

and took us on boat rides...

And overall, we had a wonderful, almost sunburn-free weekend!
laura ann

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - DIY Bouquets

Hey y'all! Thanks for stopping by for Wedding Wednesday!  Today I have a super-quick tutorial on how to DIY bouquets.  Can I just say that they are super-duper easy and I'm a total advocate for artificial bouquets??  The average cost for bridesmaids bouquets is between $50 and $150 each.  In addition, most florists charge a delivery fee.  With 5 bridesmaids, I would probably spend $300 at least.  That isn't going to break the bank of course, but if flowers are not one of your priorities... save your money by using artificial bouquets!  So with a 20% off coupon and $50 gift card, Mom and I headed to Michaels a few weekends ago and bought everything we needed for bridesmaids bouquets.... for a total of $91.17!  Yeah!

Here is about 1/5 of our supplies (I had already made 4 bouquets when I took this picture):

These are some supplies you might need - floral stem wrap tape, floral wire, wire cutters, sharpie, and ribbon.  One suggestion - invest in some nice wire cutters, because cutting stems can be tough without them!

Start by removing the leaves from the stem (save them, you'll need them later).  Then arrange the flowers in a bouquet until you're happy with it.  Use a sharpie to mark where to cut the stems.  The length really depends on your taste - I would say around 7".

Once you get everything cut and arranged the way you want it, use the wire to hold everything together.  I put it in three places, but two would work fine.  Make sure to put it at the top and the bottom.

Add leaves around the bottom.  Then wrap the stem in stem tape to smooth out the rough areas and reinforce the wire.

Finally, wrap the stem in ribbon and use an embellished pin to hold it in place.  I haven't done this yet, but it probably would be a good idea to hot glue it in place as well.  As a side note, I had originally planned to wrap only part of the stem, and leave the bottom unwrapped - I just like that look.  But, the wire poked through the bottom of some of the stems and it didn't look so great.  If you want, you can cut a short piece of ribbon to fold over the bottom, and then use a longer piece to wrap around it.  Once you get to the top, fold the ribbon back before you pin it so you can't see where it frays.

Taa daa!

Then repeat for each bridesmaid!

I still have to wrap the stems of the other four... but you can get the gist!

Don't worry, those vases are only for storing (in a tote so they won't be squished or dusty 11 months from now).  But, you know you like the pink one. HAHA! :)  Even though we're not getting married until June, the bouquets are (almost) finished and paid for.  Doing things way ahead of time spreads out your payments and keeps you from rushing through projects in the last few months.  People might think you're nuts now, but when you're stress free the week before, you'll thank yourself.   :)

So that's it for DIY bouquets - it's way easy and everyone should do it, in my humble opinion!  :)
laura ann

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Happy Birthday Amanda!!

Happy Birthday to my sweet friend, roomate, and maid of honor, Amanda!

This is the 20th birthday we've celebrate together between the two of us (that is, we've been celebrating each other's birthdays for ten years now)  Whoa!  On your 21st birthday, I just want to pass on the same advice you gave me for my 18th.  Words of wisdom.  Words to live by.  Best advice eva (foreva eva!)

1. Do not fail or inhale weed or get shot.
2. Cram in the gigantic "library" - ace test.
3. Little sleep, many partys.
4. Dorm=crib, nap in it.
5. If all naked & drunk always call me.
6. Dance every day hottie and smell good.
7. To be friends, no fighting.
8. Graduate and live girl!!
9. Is to dumb skip 101 classes.

I love you home-y.

Psuey?  Uranus.  Tall grass.  Whatever the inside joke, I will LYDBNQ FAFA.  Happy Birthday!

Imma Dork.
laura ann

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Too Late to Apologize

Happy Independence Day!!  In honor of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, I have a great video to share.  My hipper (more hip?) friends assure me that the song "Too Late to Apologize" by Timbaland is a cool song these days, and this video my friends, is a spoof of the music video.  In my neverending efforts to plan great high school history lessons, I stumbled across it.  You can call me a nerd, but I find it very witty - I may or may not have laughed out loud many times.  Humor me will ya?

Oh gosh, "No Tea." Hi-lar-ious.  Have a great fourth!!
laura ann

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Resolution Check Point

In grad school, we are always doing reflection discussions, reflecion papers, reflections on reflections... you get the point.  Maybe I'm brainwashed, but I decided to do a reflection on my New Year's resolutions.  We'll call it a mid-year check point.
Ten To Do's for 2010:
Cook more often each week - Negative.  Fail. Fail. Fail.  I need to get on that, because I never cook.  Quick recipes anyone??

Be a smarter spender - Check. Well, maybe not smarter, but definitely smart, particularly when it comes to wedding stuff.

Graduate with at least a 3.5 GPA - Check. A 3.56 and proud of it!

Plan blog posts in advance - Mostly check.  I've got 2 scheduled to go up next week!

Drink less caffeine - Ahh... depends on the week.  Generally yes, but when I have a lapse in judgement, its a usually a bad one.  And I'm drinking a mountain dew right now. [Hangs head in shame.]

Get back into scrapbooking - Absolutely not.  This one has fail written all over it.  Still need to finish scrapbooking my senior year of high school... not to mention all of college.

Learn to sew better - eh... sort of check.  I plan to make curtains soon, does that count?

Create an ongoing list of teaching ideas - Check plus!  I'm on a role with that thanks to grad school!

Memorize more scripture - Maybe not a check for memorizing scripture, but definitely a check for reading more scripture.

Stay stress free as I start planning the wedding - Absolutely check.  Stress free all around.

How are your resolutions going??
laura ann