My first time as a Thanksgiving Hostess

This year, because we are living/housesitting in a fairly larger house than we are normally used to…we offered (or as my husband would say, I offered) up the house to have Thanksgiving.  16 people.  I can swing that.  Luckily, I had the help of my mother-in-law, my mom, my new sista, Russell’s aunts…they all contributed a lot to the day.  Liz (russells mom) and Lauren (my new sista) came over Thursday morning to pop the turkey in.  I had mimosa’s and cinnabons waiting for them as we prepped some other food items.  Always need a mimosa to start your holiday! 

A couple days before Thanksgiving I made the flower arrangements and put the table settings out.  I picked up some white hydrangeas and tall purple flowers from the local Produce Junction (5 packs of flowers for $9, can’t beat it).

We used the dining room table in the formal dining room which opens up to the foyer area where I placed our dining room table from our previous apartment.  I like to have a seat for everyone.  I used some of my burlap runners and white votive candles from our wedding for the tables.  Something else I have been doing lately…and for some reason I have a large supply of curtains…I threw a couple of my curtains on one of the tables and placed one of the burlap runners down the middle to cover the gap…no one ever knew they were curtains 🙂

The day came together and it was fab.  It was a crazy mess in the kitchen, everyone bumping into each other, music playing.  We had about 6 pies for 16 people.  My dad played air hockey against 2 teenage cousins..boys watched football in the man cave, I sipped on some warm spiced red wine in my mason jar wine glass that I didn’t get to use at my wedding because for some reason I couldn’t read the box they were labeled in..maybe I had been sipping wine when searching for them…anyways, what made this day truly special to me was that this was the first Holiday with bringing our 2 families together since being married 🙂

my little helper…Mystic


My DIY Wedding Details

To continue the casual elegance of the wedding…I kept it a very classic black and white theme.  White flowers.  Ivory Wedding Dress.  Black Bridesmaids Dresses.  Brown Boots.  Charming I would say.  It all came together with all of the little details.  Here is a taste of it all coming together.

I have to say I was not the traditional bride, at all.  I did not wear something new, old, borrowed or blue….My mom stitched blue thread into my wedding dress with the date and our initials.  My dress was new….I did not have anything borrowed or old and you know what, I was OK with that.  I am not a superstitious person, unlike a few brides I have dealt with over the years.  I don’t get the point of worrying about stuff like that.  My concern was just how happy I was going to be marrying the man of my dreams.  And that’s all that should matter girls!

I wanted my bridesmaids to be happy too….I love Black-it’s so classic and chic and a perfect color for anyone to wear again and again.  And with the wedding being on the farm, I said, “Wear your brown riding boots and bring flip flops for later, I’ll be wearing boots too!”  Happy feet = Happy Bridesmaids

Flowers=you spend TOO much money…sorry, I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t spend that grand on flowers for one day of happiness.  So thank you Wegmans in Malvern, PA for allowing me to order boxes of flowers and we (my mom, few bridesmaids, and my boss) arranged all of the 20 flower arrangements and made 6 bouquets in 2 hours and I only spent $216.  It’s worth it, trust me.  To finish off the bouquets, just got your local Michael’s and pick up wired twine and wrap up those stems and tuck the ends in…done!

Make it simple ladies and keep it casual and elegant.

My Casual and Elegant DIY Wedding

Welcome to the R & R Wedding-the most beautiful, casual and elegant wedding I could have asked for!  This was a DIY wedding-which meant so much more to me then having it done for me.  We were so lucky to have had the both the Ceremony and Reception on a Private Farm where I grew up.

Our Ceremony began at 5pm on a Saturday afternoon. As guests arrived, we had our bar open so that they could grab a drink for their walk up the hill to the ceremony (hint: alcohol makes guests happy and makes the ceremony less painful for them).  We did a self uniting marriage license, meaning we didn’t need anyone to marry us, just ourselves and 2 witnesses to sign the license.  Neither of us are very religious so we felt this was appropriate for us.  We wrote our own vow’s, had Russell’s Uncle Rick officiate the ceremony and explain what we were doing (and yes, it’s legal in PA), my 2nd Cousin Suzy spoke as well.  And with a simple kiss, we concluded the ceremony.  Our guests sat on hay bails instead of chairs and enjoyed the gorgeous view of the fields and pond (photos to follow in upcoming posts).  After the ceremony, we had everyone gather at the bottom of the hill and we had our Photographer Matthew Szoke take a picture of the entire group (all 117 of us).

We then continued on to the cocktail hour.  Here, we had Pitruco Pizza Truck as our food-from Philadelphia, PA- and they kept serving personal pizzas and everyone could grab a slice whenever.  We also had our guitar player, Vance, playing during that hour.  Our friend Andy even joined him and sang us a Pete Yorn song 🙂

Moving onto the Reception-we had five 24 foot tables set up.  I rented white chairs and white table clothes, through on some burlap table runners I made and covered the tables in white non-scented votive candles and white flowers accented with greenery everywhere.  I wanted to create a simple rustic elegance.  I love dressing up, but hate being in stuffy settings.  I wanted to create an environment where everyone felt at home and it just sparkled all around us from all of the candles and felt so warm and loving.  That’s certainly the feel that we got-as everyone told us.  I think that’s a new theme for a wedding: Casual Elegance.

For some personal touches, I added a table full of wedding photos for our parents wedding days and our grandparents.  To look back at all of the different outfits and dresses, who looked like who and the beautiful black and white and photos-they are all just treasures.  We had our candy buffet set up on the same table as the party favor.

Now-this is just an overview of the wedding.  I have way more to tell, teach and show.   In some future posts-I am going to go into more detail about how I made certain things and where I found good deals.  It’s totally possible to make a DIY wedding easy and simple.  Don’t get frustrated.  If you have the vision-go for it-it is possible.  It’s your one day to enjoy-don’t over do it-but enjoy it.

Stay tuned….let me know if you have any questions-I’m happy to help!



A Sweet Baby Shower

I was lucky enough to be able throw my best girlfriend, Annie, her first Baby Shower.  She is having a little girl this December and I couldn’t be more excited to be an “Aunt.”  She is such a special lady to me and deserves the best.  So just 4 short weeks after our wedding, I threw her shower at my home.  She is a lot like myself luckily, so it wasn’t too hard to decide what to do.

I wanted to create a simple rustic setting yet something soft and sweet.  I highlighted the gift and buffet tables with simple hot pink plastic table cloths, and a white paper one for the dessert table.  I placed cream votive candles throughout those tables as centerpieces along with two bronze apples.  I had burlap table runners left over from my wedding so I ran them along all the tables (cheap fabric, easy to cut, shape and decorate).  I cut the length down on all of them and scalloped the edges with my fabric scissors.  I filled mason jars with pink, yellow and pink/yellow mixed carnations, cut short, so that they sat tightly together and created a nice rounded shape.  So sweet and delicate.

For food-I kept it light-and made it so that the ladies had many options, so they could take smaller portions of more food choices.  I made tea sandwiches as the main dish (with the help of my husband who made all of the fillings).  We had chicken salad and egg salad on both white and wheat bread.  Annie’s mom made caesar salad, her sister-n-law brought a pasta salad and pumpkin spice cupcakes (which were a hit), and Aunt Teresa made and brought chocolate and vanilla cupcakes.  Now, I am not a huge cake fan, but my Mom taught me about the 3 layer Vanilla/Vanilla Wegmans cake, which I have fallen in love with so I bought that and turned it into my dessert table centerpiece in my brand new cake stand (wedding present).   Added to that table was a beautiful diaper cake that her sister Katie made!

I didn’t do a whole lot with decorations.  I did more with the little details everywhere so that weren’t so obvious. Here’s what I did and is easy to do and budget friendly:

  • I put on display in the hutch, baby and childhood photographs of Annie and her husband Andy so people could ooooh and awww over them and guess what baby girl would look like.
  • Have guests write messages of love or piece of advice to the Mom, Dad or Baby.  I cut different rectangular sizes of brown craft paper and had out a coupe different colored markers.
  • Cut pieces of ribbon (larger than the mom’s baby bump) and have people mark off and initial at where they think how big her bump is at that time.  Place all of the ribbon in a pretty glass bowl or vase and it looks great as part of the decor.  Of course, get the mommy’s permission first.  Annie was ok with it and she is tiny.  It was the only “game” that we did.  I gave a prize (body lotion) to the winner.
  • I made a Mocktail in a pretty drink dispenser that I had and named it after their last name.
  • I purchased these cute pink striped cocktail straws from Etsy (here) that were a cute addition for the Mock-tails!

We opened gifts as everyone finished up eating…Annie is like me and doesn’t like the whole crowd staring at you as rip each piece of tape and wrapping paper off of each tiny gift.  There didn’t need to be an announcement that gifts were being opened.

As a Party Favor, I created a small candy buffet filled with Annie’s favorite candy’s and purchased white favor bags which I then stamped on “She’s Expecting” with the due date underneath in Pink (using a date stamp, like you used to see in your old library books).

Side Note: if your mommy-to-be is looking to build a library for their baby, ask each guest to bring a book for her, one of her favorites, or one that you grew up loving.

It turned out to be a great day for Annie and her family and friends to enjoy!  I was so happy to be a part of it and to have to her Mom and family help out with some of the dishes and details.

Can’t wait to meet her in 7 weeks 🙂



My first post- Welcome Reba!

Phew!  Here I am. Finally.  I have been wanting to capture and write about my life, my stories, my many adventures and about my family and friends for months now.  At first I had had this whole idea of writing about Fashion (which I am not an expert at-just love it), but I think I am going to explore and write about what inspires me.  Seems to me that everyday is passing by quicker and quicker and I need to document all of these memories.  This blog is more for me than anyone else, but whoever enjoys reading this, thank you!

I’m a DIY kind of person.  I love to create, make and capture.  I am a home-body, I will never move away.  I just got married 4 weeks ago yesterday to my handsome husband Russell.  We live in a house where we could possibly be housesitting for up to 3 years.  My best friend is pregnant and due in 7 weeks, my maid of honor is also pregnant and due around Easter.  I couldn’t be a luckier gal to have my two best girls being prego and creating 2 new lives!  What an experience.  Me on the other hand….I will not be having a baby for a couple of years….no time for that yet!

You may see posts of Fashion I adore (thanks to Pinterest), my wedding, baby showers, family dinners, me learning photography on the digital camera my husband got me as wedding present, my pets, maybe some of me exploring fashion on my own and in a couple of years when we buy a house of our own, you can watch my home makeovers (I was an Interior Design major in college) and that is my true passion-hence loving to be creative.

Now-I am easing into this, I am not a writer or a blogger, so bare with me.  I hope my writing gets better with time 🙂