Girlie Baby Shower

Katy's baby shower photos are up! It was beautiful. She's so talented.

I hope I look this fabulous at almost 9 months pregnant!

Chicongo • 6.2.2011

Yes, it says "Chicongo" instead of Chicago.

My mom, sister, nephew, and I recently took a short trip to Chicago, IL for my neph's 4th birthday. He could not get Chicago to come out of his mouth right, so he always said "Chi-congo" (which was seriously like the cutest thing ever).

{ He loves Legos so of course we went to the Legoland Discovery Center. }
{ The neph LOVED Medieval Times. }
{ The Navy Pier was my favorite... Ok maybe Legoland was but the pier was a close second! }

Chicago was fun.
I'm not sure I ever would have set out to take a trip there but we definitely enjoyed it.

Rock with the Animals • 7.29.11

The last Friday evening in July the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium holds their annual Summer Safari event. It's an over 21 event with live entertainment, beverage stations, and specialty dishes from lots of restaurants from all over the Pittsburgh area (including Capital Grille, Ibiza, Joe's Crab Shack, Six Penn Kitchen, etc). All the animals are out on exhibit for this event and it's a really good time (rain or shine). Every year since I've been with the zoo it has been my job to create all the print materials and signage. This year the committee chose Amur Leopards as the theme, fun right?

"Get Spotted" at the Pittsburgh Zoo, July 29, 2011

Regular tickets are $80 per person and includes vouchers for drinks and all your food. VIP tickets are $125, visit the website for more info. All proceeds go towards the Pittsburgh Zoo and their conservation efforts. Tickets go on sale June 13. Appropriate dress for this event is "fashionable and stylish with comfortable shoes" - basically no jeans since it is essentially a large scale cocktail/dinner party.

Photo Love • 5.26.11

My husband and I just celebrated our ONE YEAR wedding anniversary over this past weekend. We knew we wanted to go somewhere but he surprised me with a trip to Miami! We stayed at the JW Marriott Marquis which just opened it's doors only a few months ago. It was a STUNNING hotel and a really great experience. We spent our time exploring Miami, Key Largo, and Islamorada and eating fabulous food. Seriously, we had nothing that we did not LOVE!

{ the view from our room }

{ beautiful lobby }

Featured: Mod Podge Rocks!

Thank you Mod Podge Amy for featuring my Breakfast Tray on ModPodgeRocks!

I love her blog and have so much fun with Mod Podge so I feel honored to have my project shown among all the others that inspire me.

The Life Aquatic • Teaser

We threw a surprise "themed" birthday dinner for my husband earlier this month. You are never too old for these things! It was designed after his favorite movie "The Life Aquatic." When I have some time I will post more photos and details!

{ my nephew + my husband ♥ }

Photo Love • 5.19.11

Christian bought azaleas for a little "curb appeal" and they looked so pretty all pink and covered in rain drops!

Breakfast Tray Upgrade

This is what happens when I find myself at home with nothing better to do.
{Well, in all fairness, there was probably more important things I could've been doing.}

I had neglected to actually "create" anything for over a month. And by "create" I really mean getting to use my mod podge! I found this tray that was rather boring and turned into something more fun {more fun for myself anyway}.

I used a combination of 3 different papers that had coordinating colors on this piece. I had been saving the paper for a project I was planning for my dining room. I figured that since we are moving I will probably change the colors in my dining room anyway... probably... most likely...
{and it definitely doesn't match my kitchen}.

Overall, I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I already have a phase 2 in the works for it!

Photo Love • 4.11.11

• • • • I love this face! • • • •

Photo Love • 4.10.11

I took this photo on a trip we took to Florida back in January. I had forgotten about it!
It's not anything fabulous but I really liked the colors.

This is my random Sunday night post while I wait for my husband to be available for our movie night :)
Tonight's movie selection: Due Date

Photo Frame

I really thought I posted a picture of this a while back but I guess I didn't!

I made these 2 matching photo frames for myself and for one of closest friends, Michelle! We have known eachother for over 22 years! {Now that number makes me feel old.} To make a long story short we were neighbors most of our lives :)

Well she totally came through for me during my wedding planning and on the day of. So I wanted to give her something handmade. I kept the 4" x 6" frame and I gave her the 5" x 7" (which I think is totally the nicer of the 2).

I purchased these frames from IKEA because they were really inexpensive and nicer then the crafting frames at Michaels and Joann Fabrics I've seen. When I was finished with my favorite tool - Mod Podge! - I adorned them with genuine Swarovski crystals.

Miscellaneous Fun Find

Last weekend my sister-in-law and I were lured into a dried flower store by the beautifully unique wreaths hanging outside. (And our husbands eventually turned around to see where we wondered off to.)
Everything was so delicate and colorful aannndd a little pricey. We did eventually find these little distressed porcelain pots for only $6, I bought white (of course) and she bought a little red one. I also love the look of succulents despite lacking a green thumb.

Disk Love

I just posted on our photography blog images of a CD case we made for a client. Check it out!

• • • • • • •
This one below didn't make it into the other blog post because I just found it. It's a yucky cell phone photo but we forgot to actually photograph this one before we gave it to the client... guess we were too excited :)

Before + After • Kitchen

I've been going through my multiple hard-drives that store all my misc findings and files. This morning I found these images that my husband sent me when he was doing his kitchen renovation a few years back.

WOW! I forgot what a fabulous job he did renovating this space with only the help of his father and grandfather. Now this is DIY at it's finest! He is so handy and I don't compliment him enough on that. In case you are wondering since this after photo was taken we have installed the actual lighting for the kitchen, replaced the gold knobs with brushed nickel, put the oven back in place, and so on.

Just to list some of the things he updated... they knocked out the back wall, replaced all the cabinets (the old ones had years and layers of gross paint), new flooring, added a dishwasher, new sink w/ a garbage disposal, new counter top, painted, and also built in a breakfast bar to open the space up between the dining room and kitchen. I should add that my husband did all the tile and grout work on the bar.

In addition, this TOTAL kitchen renovation cost him under $500!

{and one more time because I'm proud of the great job he did}


My husband and I are celebrating our 1 year wedding anniversary in less than 2 months. All year all I've wanted to do is an anniversary photo shoot in our wedding attire. The reason being that somehow we ended up with like 1 photo we even remotely liked of us from our wedding photographer and it was taken at the end of the night (you know after the hair fell out, got rained on, danced for hours, etc)... shown.

We also have these 2 which are odd...I don't really like this one with me holding his face. It's nice but weird.

Now we really like this one but it's not a portrait of us it's more like artwork since we are so teeny tiny.

My boss happened to also be floating around taking photos at our wedding sort of as an added bonus for us. He caught these 2 photos which we love. Sadly though they are from behind but they are the photos we have framed.

In addition, there are no photos of me in my gown, glamor-style, you know? I paid for this gown and there are photos that show it off at all.

OK! So on to my dilemma... all year I've wanted new photos but all year randomly I have days where I feel like I'm being petty about it. So do I want new photos or not? I love photos. I take photos for others and the fact that I've been so sad with the lack of photos we got only fuels my fire. I ALWAYS take way more photos then even necessary. No bride will ever be photoless on my watch! :)

I've bugged my husband about this potential shoot for months and now he's giving me the photographer options and pricing (our anniversary is -afterall- less than 2 months away)... why do I all of a sudden feel petty? Like "Lauren... you should just let it go." Of course I want the photos. Maybe I'm scared I won't look as the nice the second time around. My makeup artist was super expensive... but so worth it for my wedding day! Maybe I don't want to spend the money when it's not our actual wedding day? Our photographer did apologize to us, after the fact, knowing what happened and he did send us a small refund out of the blue one day.


This world needs God.

I had started writing a post about my love of handbags but this is what is really on my mind right now.

On Saturday night we came home exhausted and went to bed around 11ish. Although, with daylight savings and how tired we were "ish" seems pretty accurate. Around midnight we heard a knock at the door. It was a neighbor who noticed that the window of our white car had been shot out. That's when my heart dropped and my husband called the police immediately. They said we were victim #11 just that night, they think it could have been a BB gun, and that it was probably bored neighborhood kids. Sadly they basically told us there was nothing they could do.

That night we were up pretty late a little shaken from the whole thing. My husband was up looking at apartments and condos we could move into. We own the house but the area has just gotten worse and worse. Since we got married last year we've been plotting our escape anyway, we just have way more motivation now.

Thankfully, we found a window to replace mine (white car) for only $35—sweet, and we know a guy who works on cars who offered to install it for only $25—awesome. Safelite quoted us $270 to replace the window so we saved about $200.

So last night we had it installed and it only took half an hour—great. Then we stopped at my hubs gram+paps house to clean out any extra broken glass (they have the best tools and car stuff). Pulling into the driveway my husband accidentally backed into their mailbox - 4 new scratches on my bumper. Although I truly didn't even care at that point.

Fastward an hour or so to about 10pm... as we pulled up to our house I heard my hubs yell and when we got closer I saw that now our other car (his car) had a window shot out... same damage, same side of the car... nothing stolen at all (not that we keep anything in our cars anyway). Ugh. We tried to find a replacement window ourselves (again) but his car is so new that unfortunately we are probably going to have to pay Safelite $300 (their quote) to fix it.

There are not words for how I feel right now about all this.

Thank you to my brother+sister-in-law for letting us put both cars in their garage when we needed it and for lending us their spare vehicle... little red!